‘The First Lady’ Starring Viola Davis As Michelle Obama Canceled After First Season

Viola Davis, Michelle Obama

Showtime Series ‘The First Lady’ Starring Viola Davis As Michelle Obama Canceled After First Season

Sad news for crew members behind the Showtime series The First Lady.

According to reports, the 10 episode project starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama concluded its first season this past June, and will not return for a season two. Reports state that network execs reported the series, which follows the lives of three prominent first ladies in U.S. history, received a “lukewarm” response from viewers. Thus, Showtime subsequently announced they will not pursue a second season. The anthology series also stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.

Speaking on the shows cancelation, a showtime rep reportedly stated:

“Showtime can confirm that the anthology series ‘The First Lady’will not be moving forward with another season….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.”


As previously reported, Academy award winning actress Viola Davis, 56, received quite a bit of criticism for her portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama, 58 on the series. Many picked apart the star’s “artistic” facial mannerism choices and labeled the performance “cringey” overall.

Davis has since spoken out about her critics, stating:

“[it’s] 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.”

Viola Davis

However, a professional analysis of the project reportedly took issue with the shows overall concept, rather than performance. One report stated:

Television critic Caroline Framke wasn’t a fan of the series’ structural conceit, writing that ‘squeezing their stories together doesn’t just make for confusing television, but does them all a disservice in the process’.”

The report also noted that the highly anticipated series didn’t perform well at this years daytime Emmy awards, only being nominated in three craft categories.

Viola Davis has not commented on the shows cancelation at this time.


Are you saddened by The First Lady being canceled? Tell us in the comments section. 

Authored by: Kay Johnson