Jack Bauer is heading to the White House. Kiefer Sutherland is returning to primetime television with Designated Survivor, an ABC conspiracy thriller drama, in which the 24 star will play the President of the United States. Designated Survivor, which was written on spec by David Guggenheim (Safe House), has received a straight-to-series order. The script, with Sutherland attached to star and Simon Kinberg (The Martian, X-Men, Days Of Future Past) to executive produce for the Mark Gordon Company, sparked a major bidding war before landing at ABC.
In Designated Survivor, a lower level United States Cabinet member (Sutherland) is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. This is a family drama wrapped around a conspiracy thriller about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation.