Viola Davis’ new drama First Ladies, in which the Oscar winner portrays Michelle Obama, has been picked up for a full series.
Bosses at Showtime announced the news on Tuesday (February 5, 2020), revealing Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford – the late spouses of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Gerald Ford, respectively – will also feature in season one.
Showtime president Jana Winograde says, “Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself. 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.”
Widows star Viola shared her delight about the role last year (2019), calling Obama “awesome in every way” and adding, “She’s smart. She’s confident. She’s articulate. She believes in sisterhood.”
And while she’s excited about the project, she’s also a “little scared” to play former President Barack Obama’s impressive wife.
“You could either fail really big or succeed really big, and I feel this is my succeed very big or fail very big moment,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
Showtime bosses have not yet announced who will portray Roosevelt or Ford.