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Scandal's Fitz vs. Kiefer Sutherland: Who will be the best TV POTUS?

Carrie Nelson is a writer and filmmaker based in NYC. Her bylines appear on websites including The Daily Dot, New York Observer, Bitch Media, and The New Civil Rights Movement, and she was a founding editor of the global feminist blog Ge...

Scandal's Fitz has some major competition in Kiefer Sutherland for favorite TV POTUS

24 fans, your wait is over! Deadline reported yesterday that Kiefer Sutherland will soon be back on television in a new dramatic thriller, titled Designated Survivor. Sutherland will play a newly appointed president of the United States, and we're already finding it hard not to compare him to another president we know and love: Scandal's President Fitzgerald Grant. Based on what we already know about Designated Survivor, Sutherland's character will bear some similarities to Tony Goldwyn's.

1. Both presidents reside at ABC’s incarnation of Pennsylvania Avenue

The beauty of television is that so many fictional realities can exist in the same sphere at the same time. Since it’s not too strange for one network to air multiple fictional accounts of a government, Scandal and Designated Survivor will be perfectly at home on ABC together.

2. Both presidents were appointed early in their political careers

Did you know that only nine presidents in U.S. history served as state governors immediately before starting work in the Oval Office? President Grant would bring that number up to 10, and, as far as we know, serving as the governor of California is what launched his career. Likewise, the president on Designated Survivor is described as a “lower level United States Cabinet member,” suggesting that he’s a relative newcomer in Washington, as well.

More: Scandal theories: What's in store next for Olivia and Fitz?

3. Neither president was (fairly) voted into office

Certainly, Fitz would prefer we forget about Operation Defiance altogether. And I can’t really blame him; he didn’t know his victory was fixed. But sadly, it was, meaning that he wasn’t elected fairly until his second-term victory. Meanwhile, the Designated Survivor president hasn’t been elected at all. The premise for the series is that a catastrophic event hits Washington and Sutherland’s character is the next in the chain of command when everyone before him is killed. So, as much as he has in common with Fitz, he might want to ask Battlestar Galactica’s Laura Roslin a thing or two, as well.

4. Both presidents have overcome tragedy

The president on Designated Survivor is, well, a survivor. He’s going to have to learn how to be a leader in the face of violence and death. Meanwhile, Fitz’s son was killed by the father of the woman he loves, so it’s not like he’s unfamiliar with the subject of loss.

More: Harrison Ford, POTUS? Top 3 vote-getting fictional presidents

5. Unlike Designated Survivor’s president, Fitz was never really an “ordinary man”

Deadline describes Sutherland’s character as “an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation.” That may be true of him, but “ordinary” isn’t a word that accurately describes Fitzgerald Grant. When you’re the son of a rich and powerful creep like Jerry Grant, nothing is ordinary.

6. Sarah Wynter would be a fitting choice to play a Scandal/Designated Survivor crossover character

As hard as it would be to pull off a crossover between these shows, one starring Sarah Wynter would be so gratifying, since she’s the degree separating Goldwyn and Sutherland from one another. Wynter and Goldwyn played opposite each other in The 6th Day, while Wynter had a role in the second season of 24, which starred Sutherland.

More: Kiefer Sutherland made Freddie Prinze Jr. want to quit acting

7. And, of course, there’s a Shonda connection

Designated Survivor will be produced by Mark Gordon, one of the producers of Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy was created by Shonda Rhimes, just like Scandal. See? These two presidents couldn’t be any more alike!

Are you looking forward to Designated Survivor? Tell us why in the comments!

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