Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in 'The First Lady'
Source: Showtime

Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in 'The First Lady'

Showtime’s ‘The First Lady’ Takes Viewers Through Three Eras of the East Wing

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Apr. 16 2022, Published 12:32 p.m. ET

Considering how Showtime has wrangled some of Hollywood’s brightest stars to play some of Washington’s most important figures, you likely want to know how to watch The First Lady.

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The debut season of the anthology series, which premieres tomorrow, Sunday, April 17, follows the lives of three of the United States’ most iconic first ladies with “interweaving storylines so intimate, it’s as if the White House walls are talking,” as Showtime says in a synopsis.

We’ve got the scoop on the new show below, so if you’re a history buff or just a TV fanatic, keep reading!

What’s ‘The First Lady’ about?

Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford in 'The First Lady'
Source: Showtime

Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford in 'The First Lady'

Showtime calls The First Lady a “revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.” The first season will profile three first ladies, Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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“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 premium cable network adds. “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.”

Who’s in the cast of ‘The First Lady’?

Leading the cast of the Showtime series is How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, French Exit actress Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, and The X-Files alum Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.

A trio of well-known actors, meanwhile, play U.S. presidents: The Handmaid’s Tale’s O-T Fagbenle plays Barack Obama, Olympus Has Fallen’s Aaron Eckhart plays Gerald Ford, and 24’s Kiefer Sutherland plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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And the supporting cast is also stacked with familiar faces, including Dakota Fanning (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects), Judy Greer (The Thing About Pam), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere), and Clea DuVall (Veep).

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Novelist Aaron Cooley created the series, while Cathy Schulman, who won an Oscar as a producer of the 2004 film Crash, serves as executive producer and showrunner. Viola and her husband, Julius Tennon, are also executive producers. And Susanne Bier, an Emmy winner for the TV show The Night Manager, directed all the Season 1 episodes.

How do I watch ‘The First Lady’?

The First Lady premieres on Showtime tomorrow night, Sunday, April 17, at 9 p.m. ET., and the rest of the 10-episode season will continue on Sunday nights at the same time.

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You can also stream the series through Showtime. If you don’t already have that streaming platform, you can add Showtime to your pay TV subscription or by get Showtime as an add-on for your Hulu subscription or your Amazon Prime membership, both of which cost $10.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. Showtime is also offering a 30-day free trial of its streaming platform followed by a special price of $3.99 per month for four months.

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