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‘The First Lady’ Trailer: Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Viola Davis Take on the White House

Viola Davis plays Michelle Obama, while Michelle Pfeiffer shows Betty Ford's descent into alcoholism.

The-First-Lady, Lily Rabe, Gillian Anderson

“The First Lady”


Being the First Lady is never the second hardest job.

Showtime’s anthology drama series “The First Lady” captures the legacy of three former FLOTUSes: Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis).

“The First Lady has to be a special kind of woman,” Pfeiffer as Ford explains in the trailer, while Davis’ Obama pushes back against being branded as the “Black Martha Stewart.”

Meanwhile, Anderson’s Roosevelt tells President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Kiefer Sutherland) that she has her own life, which seems to include a love affair with Lorena “Hick” Hickok, played by Lily Rabe.

“The First Lady” premieres Sunday, April 17, with a special Presidents’ Day weekend installation featuring out-of-home advertising and digital projections, near federal landmarks in highly trafficked travel locations, including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Produced for Showtime by Lionsgate Television, the 10-episode series is created by Aaron Cooley and executive produced by Cathy Schulman, who also serves as showrunner. “The Undoing” director Susanne Bier executive produces and directs all of Season 1.

Per the official synopsis, “The First Lady” is a “reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House. In the government’s East Wing, 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 three unique, enigmatic women and their families, tracing their journeys to Washington, dipping into their pasts and following them beyond the White House into their greatest moments. Through interweaving storylines so intimate it’s as if the White House walls are talking, season one focuses on the enlightening lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.”

Aaron Eckhart co-stars as President Gerald Ford, Dakota Fanning plays Susan Elizabeth Ford, O-T Fagbenle plays President Barack Obama, Regina Taylor plays Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Shields Robinson, and Jayme Lawson is young Michelle Obama.

Additional guest stars include Judy Greer as Nancy Howe, Ellen Burstyn as Sara Delano Roosevelt, Jackie Earle Haley as Louis McHenry Howe, Maria Dizzia as Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, and Kate Mulgrew as Susan Sher.

“The First Lady” is executive produced by Schulman via her Welle Entertainment, along with Bier, JuVee Productions’ Davis, Julius Tennon, and Andrew Wang, Aaron Cooley, Pavlina Hatoupis, Alyson Feltes, Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media and Brad Kaplan via Link Entertainment.

“The First Lady” premieres Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

Watch the trailer below!

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