'Designated Survivor': Virginia Madsen Will Not Return for Season 2

The news comes as the ABC drama is bringing in its fourth showrunner.
Courtesy of ABC
Virginia Madsen on 'Designated Survivor'

ABC's Designated Survivor is shaking things up onscreen for season two.

Co-star Virginia Madsen will not return to the Kiefer Sutherland starrer, the network confirmed Thursday after the actress shared the news on Twitter.

Madsen (Sideways) recurred during season one as Kimble Hookstraten, a congresswoman who was the political drama's other "designated survivor." The character provided one of many foils for Sutherland's President Tom Kirkman, though by season's end, Kimble had to settle for the position of secretary of education after initially gunning to be vice president.

On Twitter, Madsen left the door open for Kimble's potential return, noting, "You never know. Perhaps I will be resurrected. I hope so!"

She added, "I guess they had other stories to tell. It's a big show so I wish them well. But I would like to return to kick some ass."

Madsen's exit comes as Designated Survivor will return for its second season with its fourth showrunner at the helm after The Good Wife's Keith Eisner replaced Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives). The latter replaced Jon Harmon Feldman (Blood & Oil), who took over for Amy B. Harris (The Carrie Diaries). Designated Survivor, from ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co., is a logistically challenging show. Production takes place in Toronto, the writers room is in Los Angeles and creator David Guggenheim is based in New York. Sutherland, who executive produces the series, is highly involved in the show's creative and effectively does a pass on each script before it is finalized alongside Guggenheim.

Designated Survivor becomes the latest sophomore drama to shake up its cast. ABC's Quantico and NBC's Taken — both of which are also returning with new showrunners — are also undergoing major cast changes.

Designated Survivor is set to return in the fall.

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