First Wives, First Ladies in Line for Atlanta

First Ladies, an hour-long anthology drama series for Showtime, will film its inaugural season in Atlanta from February through August. Not to be confused with the somewhat similar six-part CNN original series also titled First Ladies (which premiered in October), the Showtime program will dramatize the personal and public lives of various iconic U.S. First Ladies throughout history. The first season will focus on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and of course the universally revered proud goddess herself, Michelle Obama. Viola Davis (pictured), an executive producer of the series, will star as Obama; no other cast members have been announced yet.

Neither Showtime’s First Ladies nor CNN’s First Ladies is to be confused with First Wives Club, a sisterhood sitcom based on the 1996 film of the same name, which was itself based on a 1992 book by the late Olivia Goldsmith. The first season of the BET+ half-hour series was filmed in New York, but the second season’s production is moving to Atlanta, a decision that was apparently made before COVID-19 lockdowns affected production schedules worldwide. Singer/actress Jill Scott (Kenny Leon’s all-black Steel Magnolias remake), comedian Michelle Buteau (Netflix’s Work It) and Ryan Michelle Bathe (Boston Legal) star. Production is beginning to stir this week, and will ramp up in earnest come January.