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First Ladies Show Starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama Is a Go at Showtime

Viola Davis is officially *becoming* Michelle Obama for this anthology

Lindsay MacDonald

Update 2/5/20: Showtime is ready to move forward with First Ladies. The cable network has now picked up the anthology show for a full series, which will feature Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in Season 1, TV Guide can confirm.

In a statement, Showtime president Jana Winograde said, "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."


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In addition to Obama, First Ladies' first season will also look back at fellow former First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported this news.

Previously 8/26/19: Viola Davis is moving from playing one powerhouse woman to another!

Deadline reports that Davis will play Michelle Obama in First Ladies, a series currently in development at Showtime. This will be her first new TV project after her popular ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder ends with the upcoming sixth season. Can you imagine a more perfect casting for one of the country's most beloved first ladies? Davis won't just be a boss onscreen though, as she will also reportedly executive produce the series.

First Ladies, which currently has a three-script commitment from Showtime, will be set in the East Wing of the White House. The synopsis says the series will focus on the often secret but incredibly impactful decisions made by the country's "charismatic, complex, and dynamic first ladies." Season 1 will touch on iconic first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama, so the series will be jumping around quite a bit on America's timeline in its first year.

Viola Davis and Michelle Obama

Jerod Harris/FilmMagic and NHAC NGUYEN/AFP via Getty Images