Designated Survivor Wiki

The first season of Designated Survivor premiered on September 21, 2016 and ended on May 17, 2017 on ABC. Eight days after its premiere, on September 29, 2016, the season was given a full season order of 21 episodes.


On the night of the State of the Union address, an explosion claims the lives of the President and all members of his Cabinet except for U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman, who had been named the designated survivor. Kirkman is immediately sworn in as President, unaware that the attack is just the beginning of what is to come.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast/Guest Stars


No. in
Image Title Air Date
1 1
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Pilot September 21, 2016
When a sudden explosion decimates the Capitol Building during the State of the Union address, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman is sworn in as President after learning that both his predecessor and fellow Cabinet members are dead. As he juggles adjusting to his new role and proving he is capable of leading the country, FBI agent Hannah Wells begins to suspect that the attack may be the first of many.
2 2
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The First Day September 29, 2016
Kirkman deals with his first challenges as Commander in Chief when civil rights abuses in Michigan reach a fever pitch and the designated survivor for the Republican Party comes forward; Wells continues to believe that the FBI is being pointed in the wrong direction; A survivor of the Capitol bombing is found.
3 3
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The Confession October 5, 2016
A cyberattack hits the White House, leaving behind a video from the purported bombers; when the video is leaked, it forces Kirkman to military action. During an interview, Kirkman reveals that he was fired by his predecessor, leading many to question the authenticity of his presidency.
4 4
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The Enemy October 12, 2016
Tom Kirkman returns to the issue of civil rights in Michigan while attempting to capture a terrorist believed to be responsible for the attack; Hannah suspects that MacLeish is not telling the truth about what happened the night of the bombing; Alex returns to her old job only to seek help from an unlikely ally; and Seth takes on an unexpected new job.
5 5
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The Mission October 26, 2016
Kirkman dispatches a team of Navy SEALs to Algeria after learning that the government helped Majid Nassar elude custody; Wells learns the truth about MacLeish's movements on the night of the bombing; and Alex learns that someone from her past has made a damning allegation.
6 6
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The Interrogation November 9, 2016
Kirkman's plan to elect a new Congress is put in jeopardy after a shooting disrupts a Governors' Summit; Wells and Atwood interrogate Majid Nassar about his role in the bombing; and Aaron and Emily offer MacLeish the position of Vice President.
7 7
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The Traitor November 16, 2016
Kirkman attempts to negotiate a three-way spy trade with Saudi Arabia and Russia; Alex finds herself face-to-face with the man who claims to be Leo's biological father; Wells pursues the only viable lead from the Majid Nassar interrogation, only to uncover a shocking secret.
8 8
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The Results November 30, 2016
On the eve of the country voting to elect a new House of Representatives, an unexpected development forces Kirkman to consider cancelling the elections entirely. Meanwhile, news has leaked about Majid Nassar's death, and Kirkman has to handle the fallout.
9 9
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The Blueprint December 7, 2016
Kirkman suspects that an NSA employee responsible for stealing classified information has an ulterior motive and Wells hunts for information about MacLeish's past as the number of people she can trust continues to dwindle.
10 10
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The Oath December 14, 2016
Kirkman and Emily attempt to confirm suspicions of a traitor in the White House; Wells juggles evading the authorities and learning the identity of her mystery asset; and MacLeish prepares to be sworn in as Vice President.
11 11
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Warriors March 8, 2017
Kirkman is taken into surgery after being shot during MacLeish's swearing-in; Wells is interrogated about the information she has on MacLeish; Emily continues to avoid Aaron in the wake of a devastating revelation; and MacLeish uses his hours as acting President to conceal his involvement in the failed assassination attempt.
12 12
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The End of the Beginning March 15, 2017
Kirkman and Wells work together in an attempt to learn more about MacLeish's involvement in the Capitol bombing; Emily's relationship with Aaron is further tested; Hookstraten knows something is going on; Atwood learns his son was murdered; and Alex grows suspicious as Kirkman begins to tighten his inner circle.
13 13
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Backfire March 22, 2017
An investigative journalist shocks the White House when he reveals classified information during a press briefing and leaves Seth struggling to contain the damage from the leaked story. Meanwhile, Hannah unearths a key connection between MacLeish and the conspiracy.
14 14
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Commander-in-Chief March 29, 2017
Turmoil in an African country forces President Kirkman to rely on an unlikely ally for help, as Hannah’s investigation into the Capitol bombing takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Emily settles into her new role as chief of staff while Aaron has to make a difficult choice.
15 15
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One Hundred Days April 5, 2017
As President Kirkman releases an agenda to reset his presidency, Alex makes a controversial public statement that threatens to derail it. Meanwhile, FBI agent Hannah Wells unknowingly finds herself in the center of a dangerous trap while getting closer to the truth.
16 16
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Party Lines April 12, 2017
President Kirkman forms an unlikely alliance in the hopes of passing his first bill while Agent Ritter is briefed by FBI Agent Hannah Wells about a new alarming threat to the nation.
17 17
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The Ninth Seat April 19, 2017
As President Kirkman struggles to put together a new Supreme Court, FBI Agent Hannah Wells goes undercover and discovers much more than she ever could have imagined. Meanwhile, Seth Wright has to contend with journalist Abe Leonard, who returns from the Middle East with an explosive story.
18 18
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Lazarus April 26, 2017
As President Kirkman considers candidates for Vice President, Kimble Hookstraten finds herself embroiled in scandal. Agent Wells and Jason Atwood return from North Dakota with a critical new lead while journalist Abe Leonard’s investigation takes an unexpected turn.
19 19
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Misalliance May 3, 2017
As the White House gears up for President Kirkman's first international summit, Kimble Hookstraten faces her toughest political battle yet when her speakership is challenged. Meanwhile, Alex wrestles with whether or not to bring the kids back to Washington.
20 20
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Bombshell May 10, 2017
President Kirkman's first international summit is derailed when journalist Abe Leonard publishes an explosive article. Meanwhile, Hannah Wells uncovers the conspiracy's next target.
21 21
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Brace for Impact May 17, 2017
In the nail-biting season finale, Hannah Wells must stop the conspiracy from carrying out a final attack while President Kirkman authorizes a nationwide manhunt for the mastermind behind it all.

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