Showtime has officially decided not to renew its star-studded anthology drama The First Lady for a second season. The cancellation comes after over a month since the Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Gillian Anderson-led series concluded its 10-episode first season.
“Showtime can confirm that the anthology series The First Lady will not be moving forward with another season,” a Showtime representative said in a statement (via Variety). “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.”
Described as “Showtime’s American version of The Crown,” The First Lady was set to peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of America’s most iconic First Ladies. The first season focused on the stories of the aforementioned three first ladies.
“The series was a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House,” reads the synopsis. “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 series peeled 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. Through interweaving storylines so intimate it’s as if the White House walls are talking, season one focused on the enlightening lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Joining Davis, Pfeiffer, and Anderson are Aaron Eckhart, O-T Fagbenle, Kiefer Sutherland, Ellen Burstyn, Dakota Fanning, Lily Rabe, Jayme Lawson, Kristine Froseth, Eliza Scanlen, Cailee Spaeny, Judy Greer, Rhys Wakefield, Regina Taylor, Lexi Underwood, Aya Cash, and more.
The First Lady was created and written by Aaron Cooley from an idea that originated with Cathy Schulman, who was inspired by Cooley’s spec script about Lady Bird Johnson. Schulman was an executive producer and showrunner. Golden Globe winner Susanne Bier (The Undoing) had also served as its director and executive producer.