clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Viola Davis gets the go-ahead to play Michelle Obama on Showtime series

The Oscar winner will star in Showtime’s “First Ladies,” focusing on Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Viola Davis is set to portray Michelle Obama in a Showtime series about America’s first ladies. Davis also is an executive producer on the project, which is still in development.
Viola Davis (left) is set to portray Michelle Obama in a Showtime series about America’s first ladies.
AP Photos

Viola Davis is heading to the White House.

The Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, 54, will star as former first lady Michelle Obama in Showtime’s “First Ladies,” an anthology drama focusing on the personal and political lives of presidential wives throughout history. The first season will focus on Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The casting of an acclaimed actress such as Davis, who this spring will wrap up ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and is an executive producer of the new project, is certain to raise its profile. The airdate and casting for the other roles have not been revealed.

Scripts for the series were ordered in August.

The show description states, “In the East Wing of the White House, 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. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes.”

Aaron Cooley, author of “Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court” and “The Guns of Ridgewood,” also serve as an executive producer and writer.

The series adds another political figure to the resume of Davis, who is said to be portraying former U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) in a movie for Amazon Studios.