Oscar winner Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) can do no wrong, right? Well that's up for debate as of late, as Viola's portrayal of former First Lady Michelle Obama in Showtime's biopic series The First Lady is being panned left and right. And though Viola's performance has certainly garnered the most attention, the highly-anticipated show — which aired on April 17, 2022 — follows the lives of three former first ladies during their time in the White House: Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The series is described as being “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.” At the helm of the historical retelling is Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns), and Gillian Anderson (The X Files). "The First Lady has to be a special kind of woman," Michelle Pfeiffer's Betty Ford says in the series' trailer, setting the scene for a glimpse at the immense pressures put on the first ladies at three different eras in America.
Created by Aaron Cooley, the series also stars O-T Fagbenle (WeCrashed) as Barack Obama, Kiefer Sutherland (24) as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Gerald R. Ford, and Dakota Fanning (War Of The Worlds) as Susan Ford. With a sour Rotten Tomatoes score of 41 percent, we can't help but wonder, will The First Lady live to see a second term?
Will there be a Season 2 of Showtime's 'The First Lady'?
Season 1 of The First Lady has just begun, but this series is going to need a killer campaign to get reelected. As of right now, The First Lady has neither been renewed for a sophomore season, nor has it been canceled.
And though the series' future is up in the air, showrunner Cathy Schulman and director and executive producer Susanne Bier had an interesting response to a reporter's question at a virtual panel at the Television Critics Association’s press tour, per Variety.
The question pertained to a future season delving into former First Lady Melania Trump's time in the White House. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, that's a wildly entertaining story to potentially bring to the small screen. “Look, I do think that the series could do with a fun season — so let’s talk about that," Susanne Bier responded with a giggle.
“I think the hope is that there’s going to be future seasons and there will be the opportunity to have many, many more first ladies represented. So maybe not just four — but maybe 104," Gillian Anderson — who plays Eleanor Roosevelt — said on the panel.
It's not clear how many seasons The First Lady will go on for, but Susanne Bier does know that she wants to focus on three first ladies per season.
“Three is a great number for a season because you can do in-depth contrasts, but it’s also incredibly interesting how the three ladies reflect upon each other,” she explained. “So whatever three ladies it’s going to be next season, I still think that three is the right way of doing it.”
New episodes of The First Lady air Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime.