The president of the United States used to be such a lofty figure, so far removed from the fantasy life of the American people, that he (or she) was seldom portrayed as a recurring character on TV dramas. But somewhere between Bill Clinton's saxophone solo on the old Arsenio Hall late-night talk show and Barack Obama's interview with comic Zach Galafianakis on "Between Two Ferns," the chief executive became a TV pop culture staple.

These days, you can barely change the channel without coming across a small-screen president, whether on ABC's "Scandal," CBS' "Madam Secretary," or NBC's "State of Affairs." Not to mention the about-to-launch seasons of Netflix's "House of Cards" and HBO's "Veep," whose ambitious lead characters (played by Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, respectively) will finally be settling into the Oval Office in this year's story arcs.

Of course, TV presidents are all over the map, and not just in the red-state-blue-state sense. Some are feckless, some faultless, and some funny. Here's how some of our favorites rate in the polls, from worst to best.

categories Tv News