Showtime has ordered the drama First Ladies, with Viola Davis playing Michelle Obama. Showtime and Lionsgate Television are producing, and Davis will executive produce. Aaron Cooley created the series, and will write and executive produce it.
“In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America's charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of these enigmatic women,” said Showtime.
Season one looks at Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.
“Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself.” said Jana Winograde, president of entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “First Ladies fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events. Having Viola Davis play Michelle Obama is a dream come true, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her extraordinary talent to help launch this series.”
Davis’s TV work includes How To Get Away with Murder, United States of Tara and Scandal, and her films include The Help, Fences and Doubt.
First Ladies is executive produced by Cathy Schulman via Welle Entertainment, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon via JuVee Productions, Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media, Brad Kaplan via LINK Entertainment and Aaron Cooley.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.