Academy Award-Winning Actress Viola Davis has been cast as Michelle Obama in an upcoming Showtime anthology entitled First Ladies. Viola Davis is widely known for her work in Fences, The Help, The Suicide Squad, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder among other projects. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Davis will also executive produce the project alongside her husband Julius Tennon. Together they run JuVee Productions, an award-winning production company. They are going to partner with Lionsgate to produce the show.
The drama is going to focus on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama, telling the story of their personal and political lives. Aaron Cooley, author of Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court, has been hired to write the script and executive produce. In addition to Cooley, Davis, Tennon, and Lionsgate, Oscar winner Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Jeff Gaspin, and LINK Entertainment’s Brad Kaplan will executive produce First Ladies.
JuVee Productions, which is growing by the month, has a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. That being said, First Ladies is only one of many projects. Davis and Tennon’s banner also has produced Amazon’s Fast Color, Wild Seed, and The Asphalt Kiss.
Although First Ladies currently only has a three script order, if the anthology expands into a series it would join Showtime’s scripted roster that includes, but is not limited to, the following series: The L Word, Billions, The Chi, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Kidding, Halo, City on a Hill, Black Monday, Penny Dreadful, Work in Progress, On Becoming a God in Central Florida and Rust.
Over at Lionsgate TV, First Ladies stands to join an already acclaimed slate that includes Netflix’s original series, Orange Is the New Black, NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, OWN’s Ambitions, Starz’s The Rook and Netflix’s Dear White People, among other television projects.