Politics - News Analysis
Looks Like Showtime Won’t Be Making an Episode of ‘The First Lady’ About Melania Trump
Showtime has pulled the plug on the second season of The First Lady, a one-hour anthology series. This star-studded series, set in the East Wing of the White House offered up the complicated and extraordinary lives of Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), who was also the show’s executive producer, Deadline reports.
“Showtime can confirm the anthology series The First Lady will not be moving forward with another season,” said a network spokesperson in a statement to 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 producer Lionsgate for their dedicated work in telling the unique stories of three remarkable leaders.”
Apparently, The First Lady wasn’t a hit with television critics, which is sad because it gives people a glimpse into recent history and reminds them that the lives of America’s first ladies were often as complex as that of their husbands.
But one critic, in particular, Caroline Framke, Variety’s chief critic didn’t care for the way the series was structured, writing that “squeezing their stories together doesn’t just make for confusing television, but does them all a disservice in the process.”
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Deadline reports the show “hailed from writer Aaron Cooley, Davis and Julius Tennon via their JuVee Productions, Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment (Otherhood); and Jeff Gaspin’s Gaspin Media and Brad Kaplan via Link Entertainment. Cooley executive-produced along with Davis and Tennon via their JuVee Productions, Schulman via Welle Entertainment, Gaspin via Gaspin Media and Brad Kaplan via Link Entertainment. Susanne Bier was director/exec producer. Showtime and Lionsgate TV co-produced the series.”
Perhaps one of the problems the show had is trying to fit the lives of these women into a one-hour format. How do you flesh out such complicated characters fully enough in such a short time? I’m only guessing since I don’t have a television and have never seen the series.
And Schulman and Bier had expressed hope at TCA in February that a potential second season could delve into the lives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hillary Clinton, Dolly Madison, or possibly Martha Washington, Rosalynn Carter, or even Melania Trump.
I’m dubious about that last one because even though Melania herself is an interesting person, people are pretty sick of her husband.
But hey, that’s just my opinion.
Here’s a clip if Viola Davis playing Obama, and damn, she was so good: