Viola Davis and Showtime are teaming up to bring the stories of the nation’s first ladies to TV.
Davis, an Oscar and Emmy winner, will play former first lady Michelle Obama in a new one-hour drama titled First Ladies. The first season of the series will also focus on Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford, with those roles to be cast at a later date.
Davis is executive producing with her husband Julius Tennon through their JuVee Productions. Author Aaron Cooley, who created the series, will serve as executive producer and writer.
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Showtime says the drama will “peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives” of America’s first ladies.
“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 for Showtime networks. “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.”
Showtime and Lionsgate TV will co-produce. Cathy Schulman, Jeff Gaspin, and Brad Kaplan are also executive producers.
Davis currently stars on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, which will end in May.