FX Taps Cate Blanchett to Star in ‘Mrs. America’ Limited Series

FX has greenlit a new limited drama series, Mrs. America, starring Cate Blanchett, the network announced Tuesday.

The series explores the true story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), said network officials. Blanchett – in her first role in an American television series – plays conservative political activist Phyllis Schlafly. Through the eyes of Schlafly and other women of the era -- Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus -- - the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape, said FX.

Ms. America creator and writer Dahvi Waller (Mad Men) will serve as showrunner for the nine-episode series, with Waller, Blanchett, Stacey Sher and Coco Francini serving as executive producers.

“Cate Blanchett is one the great actors of our time – and we are truly honored to have her star in Mrs. America,” said FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf in a statement. “We have no doubt that Cate is the perfect actor to play the role of Phyllis Schlafly, who was one of the most polarizing and fascinatingly complex figures of the ‘70s for her opposition to and role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, which to this day has never been ratified. Dahvi Waller’s scripts are extraordinary, and I’m thrilled to re-unite with my former Jersey TV partner Stacey Sher, and commend her on assembling such a dynamic foursome of gifted, female, artist-producers to take on this timely story.“ 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.