'Designated Survivor' Could Have Perfect Timing

In his short tenure as President of the United States, Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor character Tom Kirkman has faced a dizzying array of challenges: the aftermath of a devastating terrorist attack, insurrection from within his own ranks, outright rebellion from other American leaders, threats from other nations, and a conspiracy of unclear but ominous proportions. It's only been 9 episodes, and already President Kirkman has dealt with more drama than most POTUSes deal with in four (or eight) years. All this turmoil is likely to lead up to one doozy of a cliffhanger when the show reaches its midseason finale this Wednesday, leaving the fans wondering… when will Designated Survivor return for more episodes?

Sadly, viewers will have to live in suspense a little while longer, since ABC hasn't yet announced a premiere date for the new drama series. But at least we can rest easy in the knowledge that the show will be back; other freshman programs on the network won't have that luxury, since their ratings didn't prove sufficient for ABC to order additional episodes after their initial 13-episode runs. The Hayley Atwell vehicle Conviction sadly seems to have run its course, as well as the non-Shonda Rhimes Scandal stand-in Notorious (whose episode order was cut back from 13 to 10).

Designated Survivor, on the other hand, has been one of the highest-rated new shows of the Fall 2016 season, coming in behind only a handful of other freshman series including NBC's new juggernaut This Is Us, and it has shattered records when it comes to delayed DVR viewing (a record held by none other than The Big Bang Theory). Consequently, ABC rewarded Designated Survivor with a full-season pickup, meaning we'll be getting a broadcast-standard 22 episodes before the season is over.

Knowing that, we can at least make an educated guess about when the second half of Season 1 will hit the airwaves… and there's one date that seems so obvious, I can't imagine ABC not taking advantage of it. President-Elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn into office at his inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20 — and given that Designated Survivor is about another (if entirely dissimilar) POTUS, it seems like a Wednesday, Jan. 18 premiere would be perfect for capitalizing on that week's established political themes. Plus, we already know that ABC's #TGIT lineup will be resuming its run on Thursday, Jan. 19, so the timing would be pretty serendipitous all around.

Plus, that would mean we'd only have to wait five short weeks for more episodes… so fingers crossed!

Images: Ben Mark Holzberg/ABC (2)