Viola Davis is saying goodbye to Shondaland and hello to the White House.
The actress will play former first lady Michelle Obama in the upcoming Showtime series First Lady, the network announced Wednesday.
The news comes as Davis, 54, prepares to bid farewell to her Emmy-winning role of Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder this spring. The drama, currently in its sixth and final season, will conclude with a six-episode farewell event beginning April 2.
The hour-long drama First Ladies, meanwhile, will explore the personal and political lives of some of America’s most charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies, with season 1 focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford in addition to Obama. (Additional casting details have not yet been announced.)
“Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself,” said Jana Winograde, Showtime’s president of entertainment, in a statement. “First Ladies fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events. Having Viola Davis play Michelle Obama is a dream come true, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her extraordinary talent to help launch this series.”
Davis will also executive produce the series alongside Julius Tennon, Oscar winner Cathy Schulman (Crash, Five Feet Apart), Jeff Gaspin (Rhythm + Flow, L.A.’s Finest), Brad Kaplan (Mr. Church) and author Aaron Cooley (Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court), who created the show and will write it.