By Joseph LaSpina
Kiefer Sutherland returns to television as the star of ABC’s new show, “Designated Survivor.”
Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who becomes president after a sudden terrorist attack on the United States Capitol, which left everyone above his pay-grade dead.
“Designated Survivor” is a conspiracy thriller wrapped around by a family drama, where an ordinary man faces a situation that is anything but ordinary, according to Deadline.com.
Sutherland’s role in his previous television show, “24: Live Another Day,” was to protect and save the life of President Heller. Now, he is playing the role of president, where he faces a very different challenge. He must quickly grasp what is means to be president, while trying to reassure other members of Congress and the public that he is the right man for the job.
“I’m really interested to see what the guy [Sutherland] does when he becomes president,” said senior Cristina Cassidy. “When I watched the commercials for it you could tell that he was freaked out and did not know what to do.”
Sutherland is not the only big name tied to the show.
Kal Penn, known for Kumar from “Harold and Kumar,” Dr. Lawrence Kutner from “House,” and Natascha McElhone, known for Karen in “Californication,” all star in the show.
“Designated Survivor” was created and written by David Guggenheim, and is executively produced by Simon Kinberg, who produced “The Martian” and various superhero films such as, “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Deadpool.”
The show’s premise is based off of a real-life concept. Designated survivor is a term that refers to a random member of the United States cabinet who is put in a separate location away from the president and the rest of the leaders of the country. If the president and all those in his line of succession were to die, the designated survivor would become the acting president of the United States.
This precaution is taken to make sure that if a catastrophic attack were to occur, the country would still have an appointed leader.
“It’s such a great concept,” said junior Christopher Faccenda. “It brings to light a position in our government that no one knows about and is interesting, as this could happen in real life.”
“Designated Survivor” contains similar elements from other television series such as “House of Cards,” “Homeland,” and “West Wing.” They conceptualize many issues the president of the United States could face while in office, such as distrust, scandals, politics and terrorism.
What makes “Designated Survivor” a new concept is that it focuses on what could occur if an event of terrorism, such as the one seen in the show, were to happen.
“It makes you wonder who President Obama’s designated survivor is,” said Faccenda.
“Designated Survivor” premieres Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. on ABC.