Beginning a TV series with everyone in the presidential line of succession being murdered in an explosion sets some pretty high expectations for the rest of the series. After two seasons of navigating the aftereffects of that consequential debut episode, the President is making his way to Netflix.
After a two-season run on ABC, the political drama is launching Season 3 with its first episodes being made directly for the streaming platform. The first trailer for the new season follows the public fallout after President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) derails his own bid for reelection with a confrontational State of the Union speech. Throwing his anger directly toward Congress has soured public opinion and caused the Kirkman campaign to second-guess its overall strategy.
The uncertainty looks like it’s also causing rifts for Kirkman’s staff. Stalwart speechwriter and now-press secretary Seth Wright (Kal Penn) seems to be taking the same antagonistic approach toward writers at the press briefing. (It appears that no president-centered show in 2019 is complete without someone angrily pounding their fist on a podium and screaming, “This isn’t journalism!”)
Of course, federal infighting alone isn’t enough to power a show about the executive branch. So Kirkman looks to fend off an incoming bioweaponry threat as he navigates the twisting, backstabbing world of a presidential campaign. (Drama around vice presidential running mates: also a seeming prerequisite for these kinds of series.)
And then what D.C. show would be complete without a little romance? The trailer offers a small glimpse into the private lives of a few West Wing staffers, a possible window into how the personal and political start blending together.
Following full broadcast season runs, Season 3 of “Designated Survivor” runs at a tight, tidy 10 episodes in length. In addition to Sutherland and Penn, the season’s greater ensemble also includes Maggie Q, Adan Canto, Lorraine Zimmer, Italia Ricci, Anthony Edwards, Dontae Evans and Isabel Pardo. Neal Baer serves as the Season 3 showrunner.
Watch the full trailer (with plenty of dressing downs in the dim lighting of the Oval Office) below:
“Designated Survivor” Season 3 premieres June 7 on Netflix. Seasons 1-2 are currently available to stream.