How 'Designated Survivor' Tackles Real-World Issues in Season 3

Ingela Ratledge
Preview Netflix

Power to the people!

As Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) hits the campaign trail on Designated Survivor Season 3, he'll hear from voters about the issues that matter to them most — and so will viewers. Several of the key plotlines this season will be bolstered by documentary footage of regular folks sharing their own impassioned stories.

Kiefer Sutherland & the 'Designated Survivor' Cast on a '180-Degree Shift' in Season 3

Kiefer Sutherland & the 'Designated Survivor' Cast on a '180-Degree Shift' in Season 3

Sutherland, Anthony Edwards, and showrunner Neal Baer preview what to expect from the racier episodes coming to Netflix.

For example: Kirkman's position on child marriage will be informed by an interview with a former child bride; an episode about how Big Pharma drives up the price of life-saving medications includes a video from a mother whose diabetic son died because he couldn't afford the cost of insulin.

"It takes situations out of the political [realm] and shows you these things are really happening in the world," Sutherland says.

(Credit: Netflix)

The approach is something executive producer Neal Baer has been wanting to try for decades. "It's been challenging, but really gratifying, to see it come to fruition and find non-actors who can speak to the president in a way that doesn't feel hokey," Baer admits.

Behind the Scenes of the 'Designated Survivor' Cover Shoot With Kiefer Sutherland (PHOTOS)

Behind the Scenes of the 'Designated Survivor' Cover Shoot With Kiefer Sutherland (PHOTOS)

The series' president cracks a few smiles and gets serious behind the podium.

Plus, you can't beat the authenticity. "When my editors first watched one of those scenes, they were like, 'My God, where did you find that actor?'" Baer says, adding, "That's what documentaries give you: people speaking their hearts." Message received.

Designated Survivor, Season Premiere, Friday, June 7, Netflix