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Designated Survivor: Virginia Madsen Says She's Not Returning for Season 2

Kimble Hookstraten has left the building

Tim Surette

Okay, what is going on in Hollywood? Network shows returning for new seasons are seeing casting shake ups left and right. Following massive actor departures on Quantico and Taken, the latest to feel the sting of kicking actors to the curb is ABC's Designated Survivor, which heads into its second season next fall.

Virginia Madsen, who plays the spectacularly named politician Kimble Hookstraten on the ABC series, tweeted out to a fan today that she wasn't returning to Season 2. She didn't give any specific details, only saying that she really enjoyed playing the role and working with her cast mates.

When I spoke with Madsen earlier this spring about her part on Designated Survivor, she was nothing less than ebullient about playing the congresswoman, and loved that her character was a strong woman who was able to navigate Washington using veteran political savvy.

It seemed the show had bigger plans for Hookstraten, too. In the penultimate episode, her character made an arrangement with President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) and resigned as Speaker of the House but took a new role as Secretary of Education, putting her squarely on Kirkman's team after spending the first part of the season lined up as one of his antagonists.

So why the change? ABC brought in a new showrunner to lead the series -- the series' fourth showrunner in just one season -- meaning another round of creative overhaul. That likely meant some storylines would be dropped and some characters would be let go.

TVGuide.com reached out to ABC for confirmation but hadn't heard back as of press time.

Designated Survivor returns this fall on ABC.