12:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Viola Davis to Play Michelle Obama in 'First Ladies' Anthology for Showtime
Showtime is ready to tell the stories of Washington's first ladies.
The premium cable network is teaming with Viola Davis, who is set to star in and executive produce the anthology First Ladies. Davis and husband and producing partner Julius Tennon's JuVee Productions is partnering with Lionsgate on the drama series, which is currently in development with an order for three scripts.
The anthology focuses on the personal and political lives of the country's most enigmatic heroes, with season one focused on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Davis will play Obama.
Author Aaron Cooley (Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court) will pen the script and exec produce alongside Davis, Tennon, Oscar winner Cathy Schulman and her Welle Entertainment banner (Crash), Jeff Gaspin (L.A.'s Finest) and LINK Entertainment's Brad Kaplan.
Davis and Tennon's JuVee banner — which has a first-look feature deal at Amazon — continues to ramp up its development slate. First Ladies joins Amazon's Fast Color and Wild Seed, as well as The Asphalt Kiss, among multiple other projects. Davis next has the final season of ABC's How to Get Away With Murder set to return in September.
Should First Ladies move to series, it would join a Showtime scripted roster that includes The L Word, Billions, The Chi, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Kidding, Halo, City on a Hill, Black Monday, Penny Dreadful, Work in Progress, On Becoming a God in Central Florida and Rust, among others. The pay cabler is saying farewell this year to The Affair, with Homeland set to wrap in 2020.
For Lionsgate TV, First Ladies would join a slate that includes the recently concluded Orange Is the New Black, NBC's midseason entry Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, OWN's Ambitions, Starz's The Rook and Netflix's Dear White People, among others.
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