'The First Lady': Michelle Pfeiffer Will Play Betty Ford In Showtime Anthology Series

Michelle Pfeiffer will play Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, in Showtime's The First Lady. The anthology series is described as "a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House," with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Viola Davis is executive producing the show and will also appear as Michelle Obama, while The Undoing director Susanne Bier will helm the series.

The news comes directly from Showtime: The First Lady, a show formerly called The First Ladies, has found its Betty Ford in the form of Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer will play the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977 and wife of  Gerald Ford in the anthology series that views historical events through the eyes of various First Ladies. The first season will follow Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt, with Viola Davis playing Michelle Obama. No one has been announced yet for the Eleanor Roosevelt role. Here's a synopsis:

In the East Wing of the White House, 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. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. 
Ford was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. She also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public.  

The First Lady was created by Aaron Cooley, who will also write several of the episodes and executive produce. Other executive producers include Cathy Schulman (Crash), Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Jeff Gaspin (Rhythm + Flow), and Brad Kaplan (Mr. Church). Series director Susanne Bier will also serve as an executive producer.

Amy Israel, Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming, Showtime Networks Inc., said: "Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus. Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability, and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn't be more thrilled – especially at this unique moment in time for our nation – about the powerful promise of The First Lady."