ABC asks for more Designated Survivor and Speechless episodes


Disney’s ABC Network has two of the fall seasons early breakout shows. “Designated Survivor,” which stars Keifer Sutherland as a cabinet member thrust into rebuilding the US Government after a bomb levels the capital during the State of the Union Address, and “Speechless” which features the amazing Minnie Driver as the mom of a family that includes a special needs child have both done well in the ratings. Both series have been ‘picked up for the back-nine’ as they say in Hollywood, meaning they will now have a full season of 22 episodes.

According to ABC president Channing Dungey, Disney is very happy with both shows and thrilled to be able to give their audiences more shows. As a fan of both, I’m pretty happy to know I’ll at least get a complete season of each.


This gives ABC a solid Wednesday night to go with its Thursday Shonda Rhimes block. It remains to see if “Notorious” can develop a following and “Conviction” is currently facing an uphill battle, and the first episode hasn’t even aired yet.

Building on its lead-in by double digits on average, ABC’s “Designated Survivor” ranks a dominant No. 1 in Wednesday’s 10:00 p.m. hour with Live + Same Day Total Viewers (9.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.0/7). More than doubling the audience in its time period on its series debut (+104%), the new drama delivered ABC’s most-watched scripted telecast in the hour in 5 years – since 9/21/11. The season’s biggest gainer in TV playback with viewers, the “Designated Survivor” debut shot up in the Live + 3 Day numbers to 15.3 million viewers (+5.3 million) and a 3.7 rating in Adults 18-49 (+1.5 rating points). In fact, the show’s 5.3 million viewer spike after 3 days of playback is the largest lift for any TV series debut in 2 years – since ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” on 9/25/14.

Are you watching either, or both, of these new shows? Both are only on their second-weeks, but doing well. What do you think so far?