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DESIGNATED SURVIVOR Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Presidential Drama

Tom Kirkman is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development when DESIGNATED SURVIVOR begins. It’s not a particularly glamorous cabinet position, but he’s selected as the “designated survivor” for the State of the Union. In order to ensure continuity of government, Tom and his wife, Alex, are sequestered away as the President gives his speech.

And then, the unthinkable happens. The feed from the Capitol building cuts off and the Secret Service races in. All of a sudden, Tom Kirkman is the President of the United States. There’s barely enough time to mourn the President and the other Cabinet members as Tom and his wife are spirited away to the White House so that Tom can be sworn in. As Tom’s life changes forever, the Secret Service are rounding up his 9 year-old daughter and searching for his 16 year-old son, who is not where he said he would be.

At the same time, FBI Agent Hannah Wells immediately sets out to investigate the Capitol bombing. When she learns that the attack may just be the beginning, she sets out to uncover who attacked their government.

Back at the White House, Tom learns that Iran has deployed its Navy to the Strait of Hormuz and Tom must decide how to proceed: does he follow General Cocrane’s advice and bomb Iran, or does he meet with the Ambassador of Iran and try to figure out what’s going on? However he decides to proceed, it’s clear that Tom is going to try his best in a job he never asked for.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Watts, Kal Penn as Seth Wheeler, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as James Ritter, and Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman. David Guggenheim (SAFE HOUSE and STOLEN), Simon Kinberg, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel, and Aditya Sood will serve as executive producers.

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR will air this fall on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT  on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).