By Drew Baumgartner
August 24, 2021
The anthology series stars Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Viola Davis.
Showtime has just announced that their upcoming anthology series The First Lady will premiere in the first quarter of 2022. The announcement comes as part of the cabler’s Television Critics Association panel, where the show was also described as “Showtime’s American version of The Crown.”
Described as a revelatory reframing of American leadership, the series examines American history through the lens of the women at the center of the White House. The first season tackles a trio of women who served as First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama. They will be played, respectively, by Emmy winner Gillian Anderson, Golden Globe winner Michelle Pfeiffer and Oscar winner Viola Davis.
Joining them in the White House are Kiefer Sutherland as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart as Gerald Ford, and O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama. The rest of the cast includes Kristine Froseth as young Betty Ford, Judy Greer as Betty’s trusted confidante and social secretary Nancy Howe, Dakota Fanning as Susan Elizabeth Ford, Derek Cecil as Donald Rumsfeld, Rhys Wakefield as Dick Cheney, Jayme Lawson as young Michelle Obama, and Lexi Underwood as Malia Obama.
The series was created by Aaron Cooley and is directed by Susanne Bier, whose previous work includes the Oscar-winning In a Better World and The Night Manager, for which she won an Emmy. “Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style,” said Amy Israel, the Executive VP of Scripted Programming at Showtime. “With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled — especially at this unique moment in time for our nation — about the powerful promise of The First Lady.”
Cooley and Bier executive produced the series, alongside Davis, Cathy Schulman, Jeff Gaspin, Brad Kaplan, Julius Tennon, and Andrew Wang.
The First Lady will premiere this winter on Showtime, though no set release date has been announced.
Cooley is repped by CAA, LINK Entertainment, and attorney Rob Szymanski.