An exciting new anthology series is in the works at Showtime. The First Lady promises to explore the unique role, focusing in on how Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt have made it their own. Most recently, Lily Rabe joined the cast as famed journalist Lorena “Hick” Hickock. Below, everything we know about the show so far.
A-list actors have signed on.
Viola Davis was the first to sign on to the project, and is slated to play Michelle Obama. Michelle Pfeiffer was later tapped to play Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson was cast as Eleanor Roosevelt. "Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent—she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women," said Amy Israel, executive vice president of scripted programming at Showtime, per Entertainment Weekly.
Kiefer Sutherland (The Fugitive, Stand By Me) will play Franklin Delano Roosevelt, per Vulture. Barack Obama will be portrayed by O.T. Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale, Black Widow). Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) takes on the role of Gerald Ford, and Dakota Fanning will play Susan Elizabeth Ford, per Deadline.
Additional cast members include Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) as Lorena "Hick" Hickock, one of Eleanor Roosevelt's close confidantes. By 1932, Hickock was the nation's most famous woman journalist, per TVLine. Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska, The Society) will play a young Betty Ford during her time training as a dancer with Martha Graham, according to Variety. Jayme Lawson (The Batman) will play Michelle Obama from ages 15 to 30. Australian actor Rhys Wakefield (True Detective, The Purge) plays Dick Cheney, who served as Chief of Staff during Ford's presidency.
The series also recently found its Malia Obama. Per Variety, the eldest Obama daughter will be played by Lexi Underwood, whom viewers might recognize from the hit series Little Fires Everywhere.
An acclaimed director will helm every episode.
Susanne Bier, known for her work on The Night Manager and The Undoing, will direct the entire series. "Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style," said Israel. She's particularly enthused about the combination of Davis, Pfeiffer, and Bier. "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."
Bier will work with series creator Aaron Cooley, who is embarking on his first project as a showrunner.
There's no premiere date as of yet.
It's still early days for The First Lady, and it'll likely be awhile before viewers learn more about the project's anticipated production timeline—but rest assured, should any new developments arise, T&C will update this article with the latest information.
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