Not every American president gets to serve a second term (thank God), and not every series about American politics gets a second season renewal. With the anthology series "The First Lady," Showtime set out to reveal hard truths about American history by delving behind the scenes on three of the country's most significant marriages. With 46 first ladies to get through and only 3 covered in the first season, this is the kind of show that could theoretically run for many more years. But less than two months after the series aired its season 1 finale, Showtime has elected not to move forward with a second season.
When it was initially announced, "The First Lady" sounded like the natural continuation of the historical drama TV craze. In the vein of shows like "American Crime Story" and "The Crown," it would take a dramatic lens to the lives of some major players in American history — but with an extra special twist: "The First Lady" filled out its cast with a team of Hollywood's best and brightest. The series stars Viola Davis ("Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer ("French Exit") as Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson ("The Crown") as Eleanor Roosevelt. Through interweaving storylines, the 10 episode drama zeroes in on three different eras of the White House, following the journey of the three women as they navigate their complicated role in American politics, life in the public eye, and the difficult job of being married to the president of the United States.
The casting news was big, the physical transformations raised some eyebrows, and ultimately, the show itself debuted to a pretty lukewarm response. But there was still plenty to admire about "The First Lady."
The First Lady Is Canceled After One Season
In her review of the season, /Film critic Valerie Ettenhofer wrote that despite its flaws, the series succeeds on the merits of its excellent cast:
""The First Lady" ultimately works because it understands that the political is personal. The show isn't consistent in everything, but it's consistent in its proclamation that the walls of the White House don't entirely divide these women from the people they serve … Though it doesn't particularly stand above other historical dramas on television, "The First Lady" works as an empathetic yet formally straightforward biopic. The show manages to effectively convey the fullness and historical importance of its central figures' lives, thanks in large part to its three powerful lead actors."
Despite everywhere that it went right, "The First Lady" will not return for more. Regarding the series cancelation, Showtime released the following statement via Variety:
"Showtime can confirm that the anthology series 'The First Lady' will not be moving forward with another season. 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 article also mentions that executive producers Schulman and Bier planned for future installments to possibly feature Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hillary Clinton, Edith Wilson, Martha Washington, Rosalynn Carter, or Melania Trump. While its a tragedy to miss out on the parallels between the Clinton and Trump White Houses, there is a bright side: being an anthology series means that despite cancelation, the first season of "The First Lady" stands alone as a complete story.
Read this next: The 15 Best Anthology TV Series Ranked
The post Will There be a Second Season of The First Lady? appeared first on /Film.