The Hollywood Reporter learned that Jeff Melvoin (previously of Army Wives) will no longer be the showrunner for Designated Survivor, but he will remain as an executive producer to help train the next showrunner. No one has been tapped yet as the next showrunner, but they will be the fourth person to hold the position.
The first showrunner ABC’s political thriller was Amy B. Harris, but when Designated Survivor was officially picked up as a series and the creative direction of the show changed last May Harris was replaced.
Jon Harmon Feldman took over next and launched the first season, but left in December for a deal with ABC Studios according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jeff Melvoin came in as showrunner after Feldman left, but is now being replaced in this fourth change in leadership.
It’s possible though that this latest change is for naught. Though many expect a second season from Designated Survivor, the David Guggenheim created show has not been officially renewed for Season 2. It is still possible that the show will be cancelled.
Designated Survivor is a political thriller that follows HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Secretary Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) who is the sole survivor of a mysterious attack on the State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill. As the designated survivor, Kirkman must take up the mantle of President of the United States, facing questions and struggles with his legitimacy, his family, and the origin of the attack that made him president.
It looks like ABC and the Mark Gordon Co. are trying to shore up the leadership of Designated Survivor which may boost chances for a Season 2 renewal.
If you missed the first season of Designated Survivor you can catch up on the ABC website and smartphone app.
— Designated Survivor (@ABCDesignated) April 6, 2017