'Designated Survivor' and 'Quantico' Canceled at ABC

Designated Survivor_ Quantico_Split - Publicity - h 2018
Courtesy of ABC

ABC is killing Designated Survivor and Quantico.

The network is opting to not move forward with either of the dramas, which were hits when they launched but linear failures in their most recent seasons. The pair will continue to air through their planned season finales.

It's a surprise for Kiefer Sutherland starrer Designated Survivor, which had largely been expected to go for a season three and bring in its fifth overall showrunner. Quantico, in its abbreivated third run, had brought middling ratings returns.

Logistically, Designated Survivor had been a difficult show. Production took 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. The series is the first to come out of Mark Gordon's independent banner outside of ABC Studios, with the latter company set as the lead producer on the show.

While not a ratings or critical breakout, Designated Survivor is a profitable show for ABC, thanks in part to a lucrative Netflix SVOD deal and strong international sales.

As for Priyanka Chopra terrorism drama Quantico, it returned in late April with a new showrunner and an abbreviated episode count. After being off the air for nearly a year, the premiere opened to a lackluster 0.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demo and less than 3 million total viewers — tying its series low. Still, the ABC Studios-produced drama has strong international sales, thanks in part to Chopra's massive following.

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