Golden Globe Award winner Kiefer Sutherland (24, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain) will return to our television screens in Designated Survivor, ABC has announced. The network has ordered the political thriller straight to series, forgoing the usual pilot process in favour of an immediate series order. The once and future Jack Bauer will play a United States Cabinet member who suddenly inherits the presidency when all those before him in the line of succession are killed in an attack on the President’s State of the Union address.
Developed by David Guggenheim (Safe House, Stolen), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes) and Academy Award nominee Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds), Designated Survivor takes its name and its premise from actual United States law. During the Cold War, the United States government adopted the practice of appointing a cabinet member to be the ‘designated survivor’ when the country’s highest ranking government officials are all in the same place, like a State of the Union address. The designated survivor is kept at a secret location far from whatever function is being held so that in the event of a terrorist attack or a similar catastrophe, the continuity of government is preserved.
Meanwhile, NBC has apparently decided that Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris was vastly overestimating its own quality and cancelled the variety show after only a single season. Hosted by (you’ll never guess it!) four-time Golden Globe Award nominee Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog), the show was inspired by long running British programme Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaways, which is set to air its thirteenth season on ITV next year.
Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris didn’t share the luck of its big brother, however. Tepid reviews and mediocre ratings marred the show for most of its run, despite a slew of big name celebrity guests including Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Hunt For Red October), Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (This Means War, Walk the Line), two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda 2, King Kong), Teen Choice Award winner Zachary Levi (Chuck, Thor: The Dark World) and three-time Golden Globe Award winner Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, The Simpsons).