"First Ladies": Viola Davis to Portray Michelle Obama in Showtime Series

Showtime and Viola Davis (ABC's How to Get Away with Murder) are teaming up to bring the story of First Lady Michelle Obama's time in The White House to the small screen in First Ladies. The hour-long drama was put on a fast-track development deal that includes a three-script commitment, with the first season focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Obama (who Davis will portray) – offering us a look at American history presidencies through a female lens.

first ladies

Written by author Aaron Cooley (Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court, The Guns of Ridgewood), First Ladies is set in the East Wing of The White House, where 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. The series looks to peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes.

"A lot of emerging artists inspire me: people who are unknown, people who are writing scripts out there who don't have a name, and a lot of them who don't have a way in."

– Viola Davis

Cooley is set to executive produce, as is Davis and Julius Tennon's JuVee Productions, Cathy Schulman's Welle Entertainment (Otherhood), Jeff Gaspin's Gaspin Media (LA's Finest) and Brad Kaplan (The Intruder) via LINK Entertainment. Showtime and Lionsgate TV are set to co-produce the series.

Deadline Hollywood

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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