"ABC was trying to decide whether or not to pick up Designated for a third year," Baer recalls to EW. "I went in and pitched the story line for the pandemic. That was Maggie Q's story for the whole season that intersects with Kiefer's story line. Are we prepared for a pandemic? How are we going to deal with this? ABC went, 'Woo, that's pretty tough.'" The pandemic storyline ended up running in Designated Survivor's third and final season that was picked up by Netflix.