September 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm #1201925596
Episode 1.1: Pilot
Written by David Guggenheim; directed by Paul McGuigan
Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland), a low-level cabinet member is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the U.S. Capitol during the State of the Union address. Kirkman will struggle to keep the country and his own family from falling apart, while navigating a highly volatile political arena and leading the search to find who is responsible for the attack.September 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm #1201925627
I’ve already seen the pilot for this one, and I think it will be a win for ABC. They’re obviously promoting the crap out of it, and the premise is interesting enough to grab you for at least the first episode. The pilot itself is good – a lot of groundwork being laid for the future and a lot of story threads started that will carry on throughout the season. I’ll stick with it to see if the quality keeps up.September 22, 2016 at 6:05 pm #1201926333
I wanted escapism and I got a serious drama, so I was disappointed. If I wanted to watch a serious drama, I would go to cable.September 23, 2016 at 7:52 am #1201926586
Any chance Keifer returns to lead actor or has the television landscape changed too much since they heyday of 24? We have winners and nominees from popular but not critically loved network shows over on the lead actress side so it’s not entirely impossible. What say you, Goldderby?September 23, 2016 at 9:15 am #1201926609
Not feeling this show which is weird because it’s the type I gravitate to. My grade: C+September 23, 2016 at 2:53 pm #1201926862
Any chance Keifer returns to lead actor or has the television landscape changed too much since they heyday of 24? We have winners and nominees from popular but not critically loved network shows over on the lead actress side so it’s not entirely impossible. What say you, Goldderby?
Kiefer Sutherland returned to television Wednesday in Designated Survivor as mild-mannered cabinet member Tom Kirkman, who is thrust into the presidency following a terrorist attack—think Jack Bauer with glasses. Advance reviews were “generally favorable” per Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes deemed the critical consensus that “Kiefer Sutherland skillfully delivers the drama in Designated Survivor, a fast-paced, quickly engrossing escapist political action fantasy.”
Predicted per Ipsos reseach to be the breakout hit of the fall season, ten million Americans tuned into the premiere, which rated a 2.2 in the key sales demographic, solid for a 2016 premiere. Although not quite a “breakout hit”, it is good news for fourth-place ABC, as Designated Survivor is instantly the network’s most-watched show, although not its highest-rated, as Sutherland increasingly draws an aging demographic.
In a rave review for the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand asserted that not only does ABC’s new drama provide Sutherland with “one of the best roles of his career”, but that Tom Kirkman is “an even better role than Jack Bauer.” That is especially high praise in light of how many best actor awards Sutherland won for playing that character on 24 in over two hundred episodes from 2001 to 2014. He received an Emmy from seven nominations, a Golden Globe from six and two Screen Actors Guild Awards from six, in addition to five nominations from the Television Critics Association and one from the Critics’ Choice Awards.
A nomination for Sutherland in Outstanding Lead Actor for a Drama Series at the 2017 Emmys would mark the return of the big four commercial broadcast networks to the race since Hugh Laurie for the penultimate season of Fox’s House in 2011, as well as the first entry into the category since Simon Baker in CBS’s The Mentalist in 2009. No other acting category has experienced this drought, so perhaps limited options are to blame. On the drama lead actress side, the Emmys have nominated five first-season performances from broadcast networks since Simon Baker, each actress with significant awards cachet: Emmy winner Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, 2010), two-time Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law, 2011), Emmy nominee for multiple roles Connie Britton (Nashville, 2012), two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder, 2014) and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (Empire, 2014). Sutherland might be the star that the Emmys have been waiting for, with a film career spanning three decades to boot.
No part of 24 was more celebrated by the Emmys than its score, as composer Sean Callery received ten nominations—a perfect record—including three wins. He has sixteen career Emmy nominations and won his fourth Emmy this month, for the Jessica Jones main title theme music. Callery has reunited with Sutherland for Designated Survivor and is probably the show’s best chance at Emmy recognition, given his extraordinary track record. Nearly as recognized as the achievement by 24 in score was its achievement in sound editing. The show received nine nominations including three wins, missing only in 2002 for its first season. The sound editors from 24 did not follow Sutherland and Callery to Designated Survivor, but the show has compensated with sound effects editor John Peccatiello and foley atist Adam De Coster, who were nominated for the first season of Fargo.
Finally, Designated Survivor could be a hit in the best contemporary/fantasy production design race even if it does not hit with the Emmys at large. The Emmys have nominated at least two programs without any nominations above the line each year since the category was created in 2014. House of Cards has been nominated all three years; the branch’s affinity for White House sets is good news for Designated Survivor and it helps that three-time Emmy nominee Cabot McMullen is in charge of theirs.September 24, 2016 at 1:11 am #1201927054
Another excellent pilot. Just like “Pitch,” it’s the provocative premise that will carry the series forward over its ensemble, though I do see some potential for this one. It’s no “The West Wing” or even “House of Cards,” but at least it’s better than “Scandal.” We do what we must in a pinch. Kiefer will always be Jack Bauer to me no matter what else he does, successful or unsuccessful. I hope he has a few tricks up his sleeve here, otherwise, things could get a bit predictable. The pilot did its job regardless, so yay for that.September 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm #1201928424
Episode 1.02: The First Day
Written by Jon Harmon Feldman and David Guggenheim; directed by Brad Turner
Hours after the attack on the Capitol, President Kirkman steps into his role as Commander-in-Chief in the midst of chaos and confusion. Facing dangerous new challenges and adversaries, Kirkman struggles to hold a country together that is on the brink of falling apart.September 29, 2016 at 8:44 am #1201929217
Since it was up against American Horror Story and I’m at a war with the Tivo and my parents, I did not include this in my line up of shows I wanted to watch. Once I heard more about it I decided to download the pilot on iTunes and watched it last night and I really like it! Watched last night’s episode just now and this is a really strong show so far.September 29, 2016 at 9:03 am #1201929227
I watched the pilot of this and found it a bit of a slog. The Jack Bauer factor was certainly part of the problem — not so much that Kiefer Sutherland will always be Jack Bauer for me but that the efforts to make Tom Kirkman so no-Jack-Bauer felt too heavy-handed, forced at times. I also didn’t think any of the family aspect of the show worked at all. I found it disingenuous. I’m also finding it hard to enjoy anything featuring serious politics (this seems fairly grounded, versus something like Scandal where the politics are just plainly ridiculous) considering the actual political nightmare in which we seem to be living currently.
The show could be good going forward, and I have no desire to see it do poorly, but in the crowded television landscape we have these days I probably won’t keep up with this.September 29, 2016 at 9:41 am #1201929252
Many times in this I wanted Kirkman to just Bauer his way through all of this chaos and opposition and get things done. Some of that resolve is there at times, like standing up to the Michigan governor guy and that moustache-twirling general. I do like that we’re seeing the slow process of rebuilding the government and what that entails, as well as who’s responsible for the terrorist attack. Very curious about Virginia Madsen’s role and hope that it’s a strong one for her. The family scenes are the weakest. The son’s horrible, and the daughter’s unnecessary. I’m really hoping there’s better in store for Natascha McElhone than this. I do like the staff for the most part. Kal Penn had a nice showcase here that I’d like to see more from.October 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm #1201932164
Episode 1.03: The Confession
Written by Jennifer Johnson and Paul Redford; directed by Sergio Mimca-Gazzan
President Kirkman and his staff work to keep a high-level security breach of the White House a secret just as he’s about to give his first television interview. Also, as the FBI continues to investigate the Capitol bombing, Agent Wells starts to develop her own theories about who was really behind the attack.October 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm #1201932170
The pilot set a DVR record. It is the most-recorded episode in history. Eight million Americans recorded the premiere and watched it within a week after the night that it aired.October 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm #1201932281
^ ^ ^ Bauer power. Doesn’t surprise me at all.
This is no “The West Wing” or anything close to it, but it’s serviceable, I guess. I wish things would speed up. There’s no need to move at such a glacial pace except to fulfill a full-season network order (which I’m expecting to come soon).October 8, 2016 at 8:27 am #1201933301
I hope that he ditches the glasses for good. The show is begging for a super-cut with how frequently he removes them. The reveal about the survivor not being in the photograph could have been a lot more suspenseful, but I like the reveal at least. “She’s eight; it’s not like she’s stupid,” the son said about his sister, which would have resonated more if not for “I guess Leo gets a lot of headaches.” Maggie Q could not do things officially because?
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