First Ladies

Your husband has just been elected President of the United States. Thrust into the spotlight, you are forced to assume one of the most challenging and influential positions in the world. Over the next four years, every decision you make will not only affect your marriage and your family, but the nation. Stepping out onto the world stage, will you crack under the pressure or will you thrive and leave behind a lasting legacy?

First Ladies

Every episode of First Ladies begins with a presidential nomination: the moment an ordinary wife becomes a political partner and an American icon. Using never before seen archive and expert commentary, we discover the political and personal tensions at play as the women enter office. Eleanor Roosevelt is thrown into the most crippling economic depression in history. Nancy Reagan is traumatized by an assassination attempt on her husband’s life and vicious attacks from the press. Hillary Clinton endures repeated scandals that surround her early career and her husband's liaisons. With no guidelines or job description, each woman is forced to adapt to their new role as the world watches on.

Weaving cinematic recreations and illuminating flashbacks into their narratives, we expose how pivotal moments from their pasts prepare them for their time in Washington. A deadly accident as a teenager teaches Laura Bush how to cope with unexpected tragedy. Racial discrimination inspires Michelle Obama to fight for America's youth. A relative’s public divorce shows Jackie Kennedy how to manage the press and overcome scandal. Choosing to focus solely on the women’s storylines, we only encounter the president when his policies and scandals affect his wife.

As the women draw upon past experiences to weather the immense pressures of office, we watch as they transform. While some wilt under the public scrutiny and leave office full of regrets, others flourish and find new purpose in their lives.

Production Detail


Broadcaster: CNN

Year: 2020

Duration: 6 x 60 minutes