Will there be Designated Survivor season 4?

Designated Survivor got canceled again. It was such an awesome show. Yes, folks, there will be no Designated Survivor season 4. It sounds just like it did when ABC first canceled it after 2 seasons and Netflix picked it up.  Nobody was expecting it,When it was first aired on ABC in 2016, the designated survivor had such a good start.  It had all the makings for a reliable program for the network, with decent ratings and popularity. But unfortunately, ratings took a nose dive throughout its run and ABC had to drop it and pursue other projects with better potential.

The show owners had called back the show from outlets before Netflix picked it up. You know Netflix has a habit of reviving shows like it did with Fox Lucifer and Lifetimes you.  Netflix watches analytics carefully and if the revived show doesn’t resonate with the Audience, the service is quick to drop those shows.We never got Designated survivor season 4 because apparently that is what happened.

Must Read: Prison School Season 2: plot, characters, release date and reviews [updated]

Why was it cancelled?

Designated survivor is a story of Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland). He is the unassuming Secretary of  Housing and Urban development. Who has to run the presidential ship,after a mass terrorist attack kills everyone in the state of the Union address he is the designated survivor, the highest ranking politician in America. It is blend of political drama and anti-terror action.

There could be a whole lot of reasons why after bringing it back to survival for season 3 Netflix cancelled designated survivor season 4. One major possibility being the contracts of the cast. Back when ABC cancelled the show, a lot of cast member’s contracts expired and they had to look for work elsewhere. So if there was a designated survivor season 4 we wouldn’t have seen much of our favorite characters or Netflix would have had to wait for like 2 years or something for the cast to come back which may or may not have happened. And since its Netflix it may have looked at many other factors before cancelling like How the show was performing, who they could have brought back for another season. And obviously since there is no designated survivor season 4 Netflix decided it was not performing well.

All the actors of designated survivors
Designated survivor lead cast


In my opinion designated survivor was a fantastic show from its cast to its plot and story-line. It didn’t lack stardom with

  • Keifer Sutherland as the main lead Tom Kirkman
  • Kal Penn as Seth wright
  • Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman
  • Maggie Q as Hannah Wells
  • Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes
  • LaMonica Garret as Mike Ritter


Designated survivor 3 was in such a contrast with its first two seasons.  It  was more adult and  had better plot twists.  It may have played a role in cancellation of designated survivor season 4. Maybe the audience were not satisfied with the last season. The major twist was the killing of Hanna Wells aka Maggie Q.  The major reason season 3 was different was because it really does establish What people are willing to do to win an election. Both Myles and Lorraine are arrested for double crossing both Kirkman and Moss.  Emily assisted her sick mother to End her life. Its commendable that till the end is wasn’t actually revealed if Hannah wells had survived or not. Its iconic the ending of designated survivor was so uncharacteristically strong. And as expected the finale ended with president Kirkman being re-elected. Is there really a designated survivor for the president?

There were major possibilities for designated survivor season 4 plot. The most interesting one being what really happened with Hannah Wells. They never showed the body of Hannah wells and there was potential for twists. As well as president Kirkman made serious decisions whose morality could be questioned most notably that former president Moss was not involved in Bio-weapon conspiracy and he didn’t say anything even though he had hard proof. We could have seen what would have been the aftermath of this in Designated Survivor season 4.


This leads to us questioning some things like Why did Maggie Q leave designated Survivor?

As we have established that Maggie Q aka her character Hannah Wells was killed off in season 3 during a dangerous investigation of a harmful weapon.  It was absolutely stunning but we have to question whether it was creative decision or the actor’s choice. Since her body was not shown, fans still had hope for Designated Survivor season 4, but she cleared that doubt by stating that her role is over. Though she did not say if it was her decision to leave or the directors. And it does seem like this benefits her the most since season 4 is cancelled and she can move on to other opportunities. But we still don’t know why this decision was made.

lead cast of designated survivor
Alex kirkman
And it does make me wonder Why was Alex Kirkman killed?

As the first lady she played a very pivotal role in the show, which kept on growing and had took an interesting Arc. Which is probably the reason lot of people have this question. Alex was not only the first lady but also an attorney employed at Equal Employment opportunity commission. In season 2 Alex was accused of being involved in bribery with Icarus Astrotech. She was eventually cleared however later that evening her car was hit by a speeding truck.  It wasn’t clear in season 2 but in season 3 it became crystal that Alex Kirkman was gone.

In the very first episode of Designated Survivor season 3 Alex Kirkman is killed in an abrupt car accident. The reason behind this is not creative nor differences with production or the writer getting rid of her, it is simply that Natascha got another opportunity. She got offered a role in Hulus- The First. Yeah I know not very interesting and why would she leave a cable T.V series for a Web series? Well because Hulu- The First has some serious star power attached to it.  In it Natascha is starring opposite two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn.  She plays the role of a CEO of a major company orchestrating the first manned mission to Mars. Exciting isn’t it? Natascha obviously thought so. Although we will miss her, best of Luck Natascha for your new role.


Do you know, if Emily was pregnant in Designated Survivor?

Emily was the chief of staff to the secretary of Tom Kirkman. After Kirkman became President she had to work closely with him and deputy chief of staff Aron Shore. Emily had a tough childhood.  As senior staff had to work together Emily became close to Aron. Over time their relationship took a romantic turn.  When Kirkman asked Emily to investigate who could be involved in Capitol Bombing, Aron was a suspect and this drove a wedge between them.

Eventually Aron resigned from White house even though he got clear of all charges. And Emily got promoted to chief of staff. We learned that Aron was in a relationship with Isabel and cheated on her with Emily and it was Isabel who was pregnant and not Emily. When Isabel decided to leave Aron she found out about her pregnancy. It would have been interesting to see what would have become of Emily in Designated Survivor season 4.

designated survivor

Is there really a designated survivor?

Tom Kirkman secretory of Housing and urban Development is the only survivor in designated survivor At the night of the state of the Union a mass terrorist attack kills everyone and he is immediately sworn in as president. So if this happened in real life would there be designated survivor. The answer is Yes..A designated survivor has been appointed in the U.S since 1960s. Usually for high profile events such as State of the Union Address and inaugurations

Someone has to be prepared to take over the government, when Capitol is attacked . The designated survivor  sits out the State of Union far away from the house of chamber, so if there is attack a state appointed member could take over presidency.  Since 2005 a designated survivor from congress has also been chosen to rebuild the legislative branch.  In the actual world designated survivors have tended to be low ranking cabinet members and before 9/11 had spent their evenings away from Washington.


Since Designated survivor season 4 was cancelled, many were disappointed. We just weren’t ready for it to end.  There were many unanswered questions. I was waiting for Season 4 to unfold. Just as things were getting interesting, the show got over at least  for now. Though for those of you would like to binge watch all seasons again Netflix will make it happen for you. Well since designated survivor season 4 never happened, season 5 is out of question. It’s better not to hold your breath for another season, well maybe there is a slight possibility of that happening. Is there really a designated survivor for the president? Comment Below.


Leave a Comment