Gillian Anderson Playing Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime Series


The First Lady (working title), a scripted anthology series set for Showtime, has cast Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.

It was previously announced that Viola Davis, who is also serving as an executive producer on the series, is playing Michelle Obama. Michelle Pfeiffer is taking on the part of Betty Ford. Susanne Bier will direct and executive produce The First Lady.

The First Lady will reframe the story of American leadership, retelling it through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House. Produced by Showtime and Lionsgate Television, the series is executive produced by Davis, Bier, Cathy Schulman, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Jeff Gaspin and Brad Kaplan. It was created by Aaron Cooley, who will write several of the episodes and executive produce.

Focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt, season one of The First Lady also stars Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford, with additional guest stars including Judy Greer, Jayme Lawson, Kristine Forseth and Rhys Wakefield.

Amy Israel, executive VP of scripted programming at Showtime Networks, said: “Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent—she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women. It’s inspiring to have Gillian, Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susanne Bier and Cathy Schulman at the forefront of The First Lady. They have truly set the stage for a landmark Showtime series.”