As reported by Deadline, Showtime has dropped the one-hour drama series, which was set in the East Wing of the White House and focused on the lives of America’s most charismatic and complex first ladies. The first season revolved around Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Davis).
“Showtime can confirm that the anthology series The First Lady will not be moving forward with another season,” a Showtime spokesperson told Deadline. “We would like to applaud the artistry and commitment of our showrunner Cathy Schulman, director Susanne Bier, their fellow executive producers, our amazing cast — led by executive producer Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson — and our studio partner Lionsgate for their dedicated work in telling the unique stories of three remarkable leaders.”
The First Lady premiered on April 17 and received mixed reviews from critics. Some viewers also complained about the performances, taking particular aim at Davis’ portrayal of Michelle Obama, noting her overly pursed lips as “distracting” and “borderline insulting.”
Back in April, Davis responded to the criticism, telling the BBC, “[It is] incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work. How do you move on from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance.”
Speaking at the Television Critics Association event earlier this year, showrunner Schulman opened up about potential future seasons featuring the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hillary Clinton, Dolly Madison, Edith Wilson, Martha Washington, Rosalynn Carter, or Melania Trump.
The First Lady, Streaming, Showtime