The First Lady: Michelle Pfeiffer Joins Viola Davis in New Showtime Series
Oscar nominated-actress Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Liaisons) is finally making her TV comeback as she officially signs on for one of the leading roles in Showtime’s upcoming anthology series titled The First Lady. This project marks the acclaimed actress’ first major TV project after three years since starring in HBO’s 2017 television film The Wizard of Lies. In addition, Golden Globe winner Susanne Bier (The Undoing) has also boarded the project to serve as its director and executive producer.
Pfeiffer will be portraying the role of former First Lady Betty Ford, the wife of the 38th US President Gerald Ford. She was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. Ford was also known for raising awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public.
“Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus,” Showtime Networks’ EVP of Scripted Programming, Amy Israel said in a statement (via Deadline). “Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. 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.”
The First Lady (formerly titled as 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 will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of America’s most iconic First Ladies. The first season will be focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama, who is set to be portrayed by Academy Award winner Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder).
The series is written by Cooley from an idea that originated with Cathy Schulman, who was inspired by Cooley’s spec script about Lady Bird Johnson. It will be executive produced by Cooley, Welle Entertainment’s Schulman, Gaspin Media’s Jeff Gaspin, and LINK Entertainment’s Brad Kaplan. Davis will also serve as an executive producer along with Julius Tennon through through their JuVee Productions banner.
The First Lady will be co-produced by Showtime and Lionsgate TV along with Welle Entertainment (Otherhood), Gaspin Media (LA’s Finest), and JuVee Productions.