Kiefer Sutherland to Play Franklin D. Roosevelt in Showtime’s ‘The First Lady’

Kiefer Sutherland attends The BRIT Awards 2020
Joe Maher/Getty Images for Bauer Media

Kiefer Sutherland is moving back into the Oval Office for the upcoming Showtime anthology series The First Lady.

The Designated Survivor star is set to play President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the political drama, which is said to be a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told from the perspective of the women at the heart of the White House. Sutherland stars opposite Gillian Anderson, who was previously announced to be playing Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of FDR and the longest-serving first lady of the United States.

FDR was the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms, spending 12 years in office between 1933 and 1945. A member of the Democratic party, FDR and his wife Eleanor became leading figures in world events during the first half of the 20th century, directing the government through the Great Depression and building the New Deal Coalition that defined modern liberalism in the U.S. He died in office in 1945.

In addition to Sutherland and Anderson, the series stars Academy Award winner Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer (The Wizard of Lies) as Betty Ford, Aaron Eckhart (The Romanoffs) as President Gerald Ford, O-T Fagbenle (Black Widow) as President Barack Obama and Dakota Fanning (The Alienist) as Susan Elizabeth Ford.

Other stars joining the show include Judy Greer, Kristine Froseth, Jayme Lawson, and Rhys Wakefield.

This first season will revolve around Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt, peeling back the curtain on their personal and political lives while tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving and enlightening storylines.

The First Lady is created by Aaron Cooley and produced by Showtime and Lionsgate Television. Cathy Schulman (The Edge of Seventeen) serves as showrunner, while Susanne Bier (The Undoing) will direct and executive produce. Davis is also on board as an executive producer alongside Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Bier, Jeff Gaspin and Brad Kaplan.