Is Designated Survivor season 4 happening, and if so, when will it release? In the political thriller series, Designated Survivor, Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a presidential cabinet member who suddenly becomes the United States' commander-in-chief following a major attack.
Designated Survivor season 1 premiered in September 2016 on ABC, and the second season premiered one year later with 22 new episodes. However, ABC cancelled Designated Survivor in May 2018, but Netflix then acquired the series and officially ordered Designated Survivor season 3 that following September.
Because of the platform change, Designated Survivor season 3 only had 10 episodes but doesn’t have the same content restrictions. And the Designated Survivor season 3 finale shows President Kirkman struggling with a moral dilemma, which sets up a fourth season. Here’s what we know so far about Designated Survivor season 4.
Last updated: July 25, 2019
Designated Survivor Season 4 Renewal
Netflix officially cancelled Designated Survivor in late July 2019. While Designated Survivor season 4 isn't happening, the streaming service did say that they will continue to host the series on their platform for years to come. Given that Designated Survivor has now been cancelled by both ABC and Netflix, it's highly unlikely that season 4 will happen on another network - ever.
Designated Survivor Season 4 Release Date Info
If Netflix chose to renew Designated Survivor for season 4, then there would've been a great chance the new season could've released by summer 2020, just in time to coincide with the U.S. President Election later that same year. But since Netflix chose not to renew Designated Survivor for season 4, Thomas Kirkman's story is, unfortunately, officially over.
Designated Survivor Season 4 Story Details
Even though Designated Survivor season 4 isn't happening, what would the story have been about if it did continue? Designated Survivor season 3 ends with President Kirkman being re-elected, but he’s not necessarily thrilled about the journey. Tom’s special advisor, Emily (Italia Ricci), reveals privileged information that could benefit the public image of his long-time nemesis and opponent Cornelius Moss. Tom knows what he should do, but chooses to bury a secret for the greater good. Much of the Designated Survivor season 3 finale shows Tom discussing ethics with a psychiatrist as he awaits the election results. Essentially, Tom experiences an identity crisis and recognizes that he’s transforming into a manipulative politician. Netflix's Designated Survivor season 4 would've surely focused on Tom’s moral compass, higher stakes, and bigger consequences. But whether or not it ever happens remains to be seen; it just won't be on Netflix.