Tuesday, November 8, America goes to the polls to choose the 45th president of the USA. While the world waits to see whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be heading to the White House in 2017, here’s a look at five fictional presidents who have all left their mark on US TV history.
Frank Underwood in House of Cards
The ambitious and ruthless Francis Underwood was ready to do anything to land the ultimate position of power. And that’s exactly what he did. At the end of season two, the politician, played by Kevin Spacey, was named 46th President of the USA without even having to get himself elected. However, to hold onto the top job, the Oval Office occupant will need to win the upcoming election, which will be the subject of the show’s fifth season, heading to Netflix in 2017.
Running since 2013 on Netflix
David Palmer in 24
In 2002 -- six years before Barack Obama’s election -- the Fox action thriller had already put an African-American President in the White House. Straight-up and honest President Palmer, played by Dennis Haysbert, enjoyed a special relationship with the show’s hero Jack Bauer. He quit the top job in season three before being assassinated in season five.
Ran from 2001 to 2010 on Fox
Selina Meyer in Veep
After three years as Vice President, the character played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus landed the top job after the previous President resigned for personal reasons. Selina Meyer isn’t the first fictional female President, however, as Geena Davis (Commander in Chief) and Patricia Wettig (Prison Break) have also held the reins of power on American TV.
Running since 2012 on HBO
Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing
For seven seasons, Martin Sheen played this smart and quick-witted yet short-tempered and stubborn President, suffering from multiple sclerosis. Ten years after the show ended, this White House resident remains one of the most famous fictional US Presidents of the small screen. The series won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years running.
Ran from 1999 to 2006 on NBC
Fitzgerald Grant in Scandal
This President, played by Tony Goldwyn, is best known as the love interest of crisis management expert Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Their romance is likely to face fresh setbacks in the sixth season, due in 2017 on US TV.
Running since 2012 on ABC