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Award-winning actress Viola Davis has signed on to play the former First Lady Michelle Obama in a new series titled “First Ladies” by network Showtime and Lionsgate Television. The network has approved the hourly drama to receive a three-script commitment, with novelist Aaron Cooley on board to executive produce and write the script.
The scripted series will take viewers back in time to the personal and political journeys of presidents’ wives from American history. The inaugural season will showcase the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Set in the East Wing of the White House, the focus lies on unveiling the lesser-seen part of American politics where many of history’s world-changing and most impactful decisions have taken place.
Although Obama has been represented in a film by Tika Sumpter in the 2016 picture “Southside With You”, this marks the first occasion where she will be portrayed on television. The announcement comes alongside recent research by YouGov on the world’s most admired personalities, which revealed Obama’s rise from second place last year to the top in the women’s category for 2019.
Besides Cooley, Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions will also contribute as executive producers. Known for her protagonist role on “How To Get Away With Murder”, Davis will be finishing with the critically-acclaimed series as soon as her sixth and final season with the show comes to an end. In 2017, the 54-year-old became the first African-American actress to have won the Triple Crown of Acting – an Emmy, Tony and Oscar for her roles in 2001’s “King Hedley II”, 2010’s “Fences” and “How To Get Away With Murder” in 2014.