Kiefer Sutherland runs to stay president in ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 3

Former ABC series finds continuing life on Netflix

Kiefer Sutherland of ‘Designated Survivor’ streaming on Netflix

Q: As you started Season 3 of “Designated Survivor” for Netflix, did it feel as if you had done it for the show’s former first-run home, ABC?

A: Yes, except instead of having just one script and seeing what was going to come, we had a few more scripts this time. I think everybody was very excited about the direction in which the show was going to go.

As an audience member, when you can decide how and where and when you want to watch something, it does affect your enjoyment of it … so I’m very excited that all 10 episodes of this (third season) came out at the same time.

Q: Though we saw your Tom Kirkman as the U.S. president from virtually the start of the series, we haven’t seen him as a campaigning candidate until he now seeks another term. How do you view him in that light?

A: I think it’s the first real strike against him. He had a sense of civic duty and moral obligation to come to his country’s call when he was needed, but it completely destroyed his family and uprooted his life – which, from the first few scenes of the pilot, you got a sense that he loved.

The choice to go from “I’ve fulfilled my obligation” to someone who is actively pursuing the job is a bit of a strike against his integrity, in my opinion. We see if he starts to make bargains with the devil in order to be president, if he makes morally responsible choices. That is certainly the crucible he faces in the course of this third season.

Q: Do you think the current political climate in America has had an impact on “Designated Survivor”?

A: We’ve always wanted to be focused on the story we’re trying to tell, because if you try to bounce off what’s actually happening, A.) you’ll be late and B.) in 20 years, no one will believe you. But that doesn’t mean that aspects of it don’t creep in.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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