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Viola Davis to play Michelle Obama in Showtime's First Ladies

The Help

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR winning actress Viola Davis is to play former First Lady Michelle Obama in new Showtime series First Ladies.

Set up as an anthology series, the first season – which already has a series order – will focus on Obama.

Other names due to be focused on include Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford – although casting details for the other two have yet to be revealed.

Author Aaron Cooley (Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court) created the series and will write and executive produce alongside Davis and her husband/JuVee Productions partner Julius Tennon, Oscar-winner Cathy Schulman and her Welle Entertainment banner (Crash), Jeff Gaspin (L.A.‘s Finest) and Link Entertainment’s Brad Kaplan (Mr Church).

Showtime Entertainment 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.”

Davis is just coming off the success of long-running TV series How to Get Away With Murder, which saw her earn five Emmy nominations and one win as well as a Golden Globe and SAG Award.

She is also an Oscar winner for feature Fences, which was based on the play of the same name that earned the actress a Tony win.