ABC TV series “Designated Survivor” debuted to strong ratings when it premiered last fall. The Kiefer Sutherland-fronted political drama garnered a 2.2 demo rating but numbers have declined ever since. Its Season 1 winter finale only managed to get a 1.2 demo rating. That is a sharp decline. What has contributed to the slump?

One can argue that the 2016 Presidential Elections and the subsequent victory of Donald Trump led to viewers being disheartened and tuning “Designated Survivor” out. The lack of interest could stem from the stark contrast that the show has with the real world. After all, in the ABC series, an ordinary, liberal and principled politician takes over the White House. This is a very different story from Trump’s victory.

Although ABC and its Entertainment President Channing Dungey didn’t blame Trump’s victory for the show’s ratings slump, Dungey did blame the election in general. “Look, in terms of the ratings, the show has not performed quite as strongly in the Live/Same Day [Nielsen ratings] as we were hoping,” Dungey told Entertainment Weekly. “I think some of that has to do with White House politics fatigue, because when you look at how we do over [seven days of DVR playback], we’re regularly going up in triple digits. So the show is actually doing quite well [in the longer-term measurement] … It’s challenging right now in terms of making political shows just in general because there are big changes afoot in the world we live it.”

Although DVR playback numbers have significantly increased the overall ratings of “Designated Survivor,” ABC is still going to tweak the show creatively. The first step to doing that was by changing the showrunner which they did in early December 2016. Furthermore, Dungey said that the political drama will focus more on developing its characters rather than politics. The plot twists will always be there, but the series will become more relationship-driven.

“Designated Survivor” Season 1 returns on March 8 at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.