For Sutherland, 50, a Canadian who's a lifelong student of American history, the most fascinating plotlines are those that delve into rebuilding the federal government.“When you do that from the ground up,” Sutherland says, “I think it’s incredibly interesting to realize how the branches of government actually work, how they work together and how one oversees the other and how that can be potentially threatened.”
Once the conspiracy plot moves off the front burner, Kirkman will hit the reset button on his presidency — and the show, Melvoin says.“Most presidents have had months to prepare their platform and then they’re judged starting the first day on how quickly they can get things done,” he explains. “He wasn’t given that opportunity, so in a quite clever way, he announces that his first 100 days start now. He’s defining his own narrative, which is part of how we see the president learning and growing and building support for what he’s doing,” including the arduous process of rebuilding the Supreme Court.
So how long can this concept remain viable?“David has created the TV equivalent of a great Tom Clancy-type situation. Clancy was really great at taking characters that you’re familiar with and watching them grow and evolve over time, giving them energy and providing the same level of excitement and entertainment value. I think this show has that potential.”
Contributing: Gary Levin