The First Lady: Release date, cast, trailer, plot and latest updates

The First lady trailer release showtime michelle obama series viola davis gillian anderson

“The First Lady has to be a special kind of woman”

Is there anything better than Viola Davis playing Michelle Obama? Apparently, yes. Along with Davis’s Michelle, Gillian Anderson plays Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Pfeiffer plays Betty Ford in the new Showtime anthology series, The First Lady. As three prominent political figures juggle their personal, and political lives while serving the nation, The First Lady provides a revealing look at their time in the White House. 

The news of the anthology first broke in 2019 when Davis’ casting as Michelle Obama was first announced. The 10-episode series, created by Aaron Cooley, is produced by Lionsgate Television and executive produced by Academy Award winner Cathy Schulman, who also acts as showrunner, and Academy and Emmy winner Susanne Bier, who executive produces and directs the whole first season. Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, and Andrew Wang of JuVee Productions executive produce, as do Cooley, Pavlina Hatoupis, Alyson Feltes, Jeff Gaspin of Gaspin Media, and Brad Kaplan of Link Entertainment.

Here’s everything you need to know about The First Lady:

The First Lady

When will The First Lady release?

The First Lady is set to premiere on Showtime on Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The First Lady Plot: What is it about?


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The Showtime series is set to explore the charismatic, complex, and dynamic First Ladies of America.

The official Showtime synopsis, shared by Deadline, promises the show is “a revelatory 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.”

The First lady trailer release showtime michelle obama series viola davis gillian anderson

The First Lady Cast: Who’s Who?

Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt:

Gillian Anderson, a Golden Globe and Emmy award winner, plays Eleanor Roosewelt, the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. During her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four years in office (1933–1945), Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, served as First Lady. She was an American politician, diplomat, and activist who eventually became a spokeswoman for the United Nations.

Viola Davis as Michelle Obama


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Michelle Obama, the first African-American First Lady of the United States, is played by Viola Davis, an Academy and Emmy Award winner. (2009 -2017). She is a lawyer, a writer, and the wife of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Through her four main initiatives, she became a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, military members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls’ education.

In conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Davis shared about her role as Michelle Obama: “I feel very protective of Michelle, It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope.”

Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford:


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Michelle Pfeiffer, a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner, portrays Betty Ford, one of history’s most politically active first ladies. During Gerald Ford’s presidency, she served as First Lady from 1974 until 1977. She was known for her advocacy of the Equal Rights Amendment and for spreading breast cancer awareness.

The supporting cast includes:

  • Kiefer Sutherland as President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford
  • Dakota Fanning as Susan Elizabeth Ford
  • O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama
  • Lexi Underwood as Malia Obama
  • Saniyya Sidney as Sasha Obama
  • Regina Taylor as Michelle Robinson
  • Lily Rabe as Lorena “Hick” Hickok
  • Jayme Lawson as young Michelle Obama
  • Judy Greer as Nancy Howe
  • Ellen Burstyn as Sara Delano Roosevelt
  • Jackie Earle Haley as Louis McHenry Howe
  • Maria Dizzia as Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd
The First lady trailer release showtime michelle obama series viola davis gillian anderson

The First Lady Trailer:

An official trailer has been released by Showtime prior to the premiere of the show in April. “They want to turn me into a Black Martha Stewart?” asks Davis’ Michelle Obama in the trailer, while Betty Ford tells her husband, “I’ll be here for you, but I am going to be myself.” Meanwhile, Gillian’s Roosewelt even hints at her spouse’s affairs by saying, “Don’t push me off. I am your wife, not one of your girlfriends. “

Check out the trailer here:

Where can you watch The First Lady?

The First Lady premieres on Showtime on Sunday, April 17, 2022, in the US. It will debut on Paramount Plus in the UK and internationally on the same date.