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Trivia / Designated Survivor

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  • Actor Allusion: Kal Penn is probably the only actor on this show who has actually worked in the White House. He also has a "consultant" credit probably because of this.
    • A bit of one for Kiefer Sutherland, who's been to the White House in 24, only because of an actual terrorist attack.
      • On the second episode, the show managed to work "Dammit!" into a line of dialogue from President Kirkman.
      • Also from the second episode, Tom and his wife are going to the Capitol bombing site and Tom talks about how just yesterday he was thinking of uprooting his life and now he's trying to rebuild the U.S. Government and stop the country from coming apart. His wife's response: It's been a hell of a day. Guess this is now the "Longest day of his life."
      • Eventually, Geoff Pierson joins the cast as a former President. Pierson also played a President before... on 24.
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    • Maggie Q plays an FBI agent, which was a frequent cover for her character on Nikita.
      • In "The Oath," her character runs into Charlie Langdon, and the first thing she says is "I know you." He's played by Peter Outerbridge, who memorably portrayed the head of Russian spy agency Gogol on Nikita.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Aaron Shore is bilingual, speaking English/Spanish like Adan Canto.
  • California Doubling: The show was filmed in the Greater Toronto Area, despite being set in Washington DC.
  • Channel Hop: Following Designated Survivor's cancellation by ABC, Netflix picked it up for a third season. This does not apply outside of the USA or Canada, where it was billed as a Netflix original.
  • Fake American: Kevin McNally is British. And bizarrely enough, he suffers a bit of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping here, despite doing it flawlessly in Turn, where he should sound British.
    • Kiefer Sutherland (Canadian) and Natascha McElhone (British).
    • Ashley Zuckerman (Australian or to be precise, a first-generation American-Australian).
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    • Adan Canto (Mexican).
  • Left Hanging: Season 2 ended with several plot threads left unresolved, and ABC canceling the show meant they would stay unresolved. Then Netflix came along and gave the show a third season.
  • Playing Against Type: Kiefer Sutherland, perhaps best known for his portrayal of eminent badass Jack Bauer on 24, is a laid-back, mild-mannered, bespectacled family man / civil servant with kind of a nerd vibe coming off of him. He does have some 'Bauer-esque' moments, but only verbally, such as arresting Governor Royce.
  • Those Two Actors: Jack Bauer and Audrey Raines are working as government officials once again.
  • Troubled Production: The series went through three showrunners over the course of the first season alone, and when it returns for a second season, it will inaugurate a fourth — not a particularly good sign of stability. Creative "churn" was indeed cited by Channing Dungey and ABC after the show's cancellation was announced in May 2018.
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  • Uncanceled: ABC canceled the show after two seasons, due to declining ratings and chaos behind the scenes. Four months later, it was announced that Netflix would pick up the show for a third season.
  • Underage Casting: Ashley Zukerman, who plays Vice President Peter MacLeish, was only 32 when the first season was filmed, three years below the constitutionally mandated age of 35.
  • What Could Have Been: Kiefer Sutherland at one point said that he won't be making a TV show appearance soon, but he changed his mind after he was a given a copy of the show's script. He's actually impressed enough to believe this show could be the new 24; "I remember getting to the end of the script and thinking I was potentially holding the next 10 years of my life in my hands."


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