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ABC-turned-Netflix drama Designated Survivor is staging an ER reunion.
Former ER star Anthony Edwards and Julie White (Go On) have booked recurring guest roles on the third season of the Kiefer Sutherland-led political drama. Edwards will reunite with former ER showrunner Neal Baer on the show. Baer joined Designated Survivor as its fifth overall showrunner after Netflix revived the series months after its cancellation at ABC.
Season three of Designated Survivor will see Sutherland’s President Kirkman explores today’s world of campaigning, smear tactics, debate, campaign finance and “fake news.” Executive producers on season three include Baer, creator David Guggenheim, eOne’s Mark Gordon, Sutherland, Suzan Bymel, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood and Peter Noah.
Edwards will play Mars Harper, the chief of staff. Harper is likable and folksy in his manner, and uses that gentility to impose his will. Savvy, experienced and professional, he has served many administrations in many capacities. Harper is respected by all, regardless of party or ideological orientation. He’s come to impart discipline and organization to a West Wing that, from his perch, has lacked focus. He will clash with other staff when he sees that the President’s needs are not made number one, which will at times put him at odds with Lorraine Zimmer (White), the new campaign manager, who might have her own agenda.
For her part, White’s character Zimmer is described as a force of nature who takes no prisoners with her strongly held views, backed by years of professional experience running successful campaigns. Previously, she ran a PR firm and is noted for disrupting established businesses. She is embroiled in a nasty divorce, for which she’s expected to pay the alimony. At first, Zimmer is wary of working with President Kirkman, who has never run in an election. But she’s keenly savvy and notes that he’s blazing a new trail as the nation’s first incumbent president running as an Independent. Zimmer loves the challenge of shaping the campaign, noting that she’ll go down in history if she helps Kirkman pull a win. That zest to win may drive her to engage in dirty tricks and ultimately more nefarious backroom deals.
Season three of Designated Survivor, which will premiere in 2019, will consist of 10 episodes — less than half the order for its first two seasons on ABC.
Edwards’ credits include Law & Order True Crime, Zero Hour and Northern Exposure. He is repped by Gersh and Lovett Management. White’s résumé includes Grace Under Fire, Nurse Jackie and Alpha House. She is with Paradigm.
A premiere date for season three of Designated Survivor has not yet been determined.
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