Designated Survivor Kal Penn Cast ABC

ABC's Kiefer Sutherland Thriller Adds Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Italia Ricci, More

ABC’s Kiefer Sutherland-fronted drama Designated Survivor is fleshing out the world of its unlikely POTUS, with the casting of Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Italia Ricci and Natasha McElhone.

The project, which received a straight-to-series order in December, centers on Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman, a lower-level United States Cabinet member who is suddenly handed the presidency after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union address kills everyone above him in the line of succession.

Penn (House) will play Kirkman’s speech writer, Ricci (Chasing Life) his chief of staff. Nikita alum Maggie Q has been cast as the lead FBI agent investigating the D.C.-shaking bombing, while McElhone (Californication) plays Tom’s wife.

Penn — who followed up his House rotation by serving as associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement — also has a consultant credit on the series.

David Guggenheim (Safe House) penned the script and will serve as an EP alongside Simon Kinberg (The Martian) and Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy).

As if “President Kiefer Sutherland” hadn’t sold you already, are you now even more likely to check out Designated Survivor whenever it premieres?