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ABC Orders ‘Designated Survivor’ Series Starring Kiefer Sutherland

Jack Bauer is heading to the White House. Kiefer Sutherland is returning to primetime television with Designated Survivor, an ABC conspiracy thriller drama, in which the 24 star will play the President of the United States. Designated Survivor, which was written on spec by David Guggenheim (Safe House), has received a straight-to-series order. The script, with Sutherland attached to star and Simon Kinberg (The Martian, X-Men, Days Of Future Past) to executive produce for the Mark Gordon Company, sparked a major bidding war before landing at ABC.

In Designated Survivor, a lower level United States Cabinet member (Sutherland) is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. This is a family drama wrapped around a conspiracy thriller about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation.

Creator Guggenheim executive produces alongside Kinberg, who will exec produce via his Genre Films banner, Sutherland and Entertainment 360’s Suzan Bymel.

This marks the first production order for the Mark Gordon Co. since it went independent earlier this year as the Mark Gordon Company Studios, backed by Entertainment One. The MGC will serve as the lead studio, with ABC Studios as a studio partner on the series. EOne will handle international distribution.

The title of the project, Designated Survivor, refers to the term used for a member of the U.S Cabinet who is sequestered in a safe location when the President and the country’s other top leaders are gathered in one place, such as during State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. The policy is designed to preserve continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic occurrence when the President and those in line of succession are killed, leaving the designated survivor to become the Acting President of the United States under the Presidential Succession Act.

There already is a drama titled Designated Survivor in the works for next season. The project, set up at Fox, is being written by Nikki Toscano and exec produced by Johnny Depp. In Fox’s Designated Survivor, when the President, VP, and Cabinet all meet in one location for an event such as the State of the Union, one Cabinet member is conspicuously missing: the Designated Survivor. Hidden away in an undisclosed location with Presidential-level security, the Designated Survivor is ready to take the reins of the President should the unthinkable happen and the rest of the government is wiped out in an attack. ABC’s green light to the Kiefer Sutherland series will likely impact the fate of the similarly-themed project at Fox.

MGC also has legal drama Conviction in development at ABC with a put pilot commitment, with ABC Studios co-producing. Since becoming independent, MGC also has stepped in to finance and produce a limited series adaptation of Jennifer Steil’s novel The Ambassador’s Wife, with Anne Hathaway set to star and produce, and has teamed with Francis Lawrence for two drama projects.

During Mark Gordon CQuantico 1o.’s stint as a pod based at ABC Studios, the company launched a number of series. It has several on the air — ABC’s veteran Grey’s Anatomy and breakout Quantico, CBS’ Criminal Minds and the upcoming Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders as well as the Showtime drama series Ray Donovan outside of the ABC Studios deal.

In addition to Safe House and its upcoming sequel, Guggenheim’s feature credits include Stolen and the upcoming Bad Boys 3, Black Box and the franchise reboot of Commando. In TV, he previously co-wrote and co-executive produced with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci the Fox pilot Exit Strategy starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua. He is repped by Paradigm, Madhouse and attorney Jamie Afifi.

Kinberg, who wrote and is producing the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse and recently produced The Martian, is executive producing two X-Men-themed TV series projects, pilot Legion at FX and Hellfire at Fox.

Sutherland won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award for his signature role as Agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s Emmy-winning drama series 24 and reprised his role in the 24: Live Another Day event series. There is a new 24 event series eying a green light that revolves around new characters.

Kiefer Sutherland explains ’24’ departure

Actor Kiefer Sutherland quit hit show 24 because he wants to work on other TV projects.

The Lost Boys star has played the show’s main character, agent Jack Bauer, for more than a decade, but producers recently confirmed 2014’s mini-series 24: Live Another Day would be his last outing.

Kiefer has now declared he is glad to finally leave Bauer behind because he longs to tackle other TV roles.

“24 is definitely over now for me,” he tells the BBC. “It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given as an actor, but it’s moving on without me, I want to do other things… I want to do more television. My experience of 24 was unbelievable… I don’t think there’s a better medium than television out there at the moment. So I think I want to do more of it and look for projects where I can repeat my experience.

“You have to take your time though to find something like it – and that means you have to work less. So I’ll be waiting for something that’s worth it, with the potential for the kind of audience access that 24 had.”

However, Kiefer admits he may still make a guest appearance in the revamped show, adding that he has not “ruled out a cameo”.

24 premiered in 2001 and became a huge international success, winning 20 Emmy Awards over the years.

It racked up eight full seasons, as well as 2008 TV movie 24: Redemption and the shortened 24: Live Another Day series.

River Queen (2005) Movie Captures & Poster Added

I’ve just added screen captures to the gallery of Kiefer in River Queen!

While browsing the Film Projects category, you will also noticed I moved things around a bit. I have split up Kiefer’s film projects into 3 categories, Early Work (1984-1990), Later Work (1992-2006) and Present Work (2008-present). Because Kiefer has so many movie projects, I felt the one large page was a bit intimidating and hopefully you all agree splitting them up makes it much neater in the gallery 🙂

2015 Public Appearances Added

Sorry for the lack of updates lately! I’ve finally updated the gallery with Kiefer’s public appearances from this year. Hope y’all enjoy!

Kiefer Sutherland will only make guest appearances in 24 spinoff with new male lead

Kiefer Sutherland will only make guest appearances in a new version of 24, according to executive producer Howard Gordon.

The producer confirmed media reports that a spinoff of 24 is in the works from franchise veterans Manny Coto and Evan Katz, with a new male hero being introduced at the center of the series.

Gordon told TV Line that the proposed spinoff will pair this agent with an older, experienced female partner for an entirely new adventure.

Sutherland is being eyed to make a few appearances as Counter Terrorist Unit operative Jack Bauer (Sutherland) during the season.

This 24 is initially planned as a one-off event like the Live Another Day miniseries, but Gordon hinted that it could grow into a long-running series.

Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman revealed in May that his network was in the “early” stages of creating a spinoff to the main 24 program.

Earlier this year, it was suggested that 24 might return without Sutherland, as he previously admitted that he couldn’t see himself returning to the series.

Fox later clarified that Sutherland would always be welcomed back to the franchise.

Canadian Labor Board Blocks $1.7M In Film Credits For Kiefer Sutherland’s ‘Forsaken’

When Kiefer Sutherland and the producers of Forsaken pulled up stakes in Alberta, Canada two summers ago, they allegedly left town owing a lot of money to local vendors and crew members. And now the Alberta Labour Relations Board has ruled that the producers won’t get access to some $1.7 million in Alberta film grants until the workers and suppliers are paid.

The troubled Western, which has yet to be released, stars Sutherland as a quick-draw killer who returns to his hometown to repair his relationship with his estranged father, played by his real-life dad, Donald Sutherland.

When the production company left town, the Directors Guild of Canada and Alberta IATSE Local 212 brought the matter to the attention of the Labour Board, which has now ruled that four of the Canadian companies involved in the film’s production, including Kiefer Sutherland’s Camel Entertainment, will not be allowed to take receipt of the film credits until the Labour Board completes its investigation or orders otherwise.

“A number of proceedings have been brought at the Alberta Labour Relations Board after the producers of the film went into major default while undertaking principal photography in Alberta in the summer of 2013,” the IATSE said in a statement. “Large amounts of money remain owing in respect of cast and crew benefits, and many local vendors remain unpaid. Post-production work on the film continued in other jurisdictions, despite the large debts left behind.”

The Board, which found that there was a danger of the film grant funds being removed from Alberta “with the stroke of a pen,” agreed with the unions’ argument that they would be harmed should that happen.

Sutherland’s spokesperson declined comment.

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