Showtime has elected against moving forward with a second season of its anthology series “The First Lady.” The decision comes a little over six weeks after the series aired its Season 1 finale on the network.
“Showtime can confirm that the anthology series ‘The First Lady’ will not be moving forward with another season,” a Showtime spokesperson told Variety. “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.”
The first season of the anthology series cut between three different eras of the White House, following the political and private lives of Eleanor Roosevelt (Anderson), Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Davis).
“The First Lady” received a lukewarm response from critics. Variety chief 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 high-profile production was not a favorite of the Television Academy come Emmy nominations morning, receiving three craft nods across all categories.
Produced for Showtime by Lionsgate Television, the 10-episode series, created by Aaron Cooley, was executive produced by Oscar winner Schulman for Welle Entertainment, who also served as showrunner. Oscar and Emmy winner Bier executive produced and directed all episodes of the first season. Cooley, Davis, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Pavlina Hatoupis, Alyson Feltes, Jeff Gaspin and Brad Kaplan also served as executive producers.
Deadline was first to report the news of the series’ cancellation.