Cate Blanchett is headed to television in the FX limited series Mrs. America. The series marks the two-time Academy Award winner’s first American television role, and is a huge get for the cable network, as Blanchett brings a level of star power to television that’s akin to HBO snagging Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman for Big Little Lies, or George Clooney developing a Catch 22 limited series for Hulu. It’s also another sign that television can draw big talent to the small screen to tell the kinds of stories fewer and fewer feature films seem interested in telling.
FX’s Mrs. America announcement also puts the spotlight on the the increasing popularity of the limited series for both actors and television networks. The time commitment for an actor is roughly the same as that of a feature film, with no obligation to return for second, third, or seventh season down the road. That is, unless, the limited series proves to be immensely popular and capable of nabbing multiple awards — Emmys, Golden Globes, and more — like the aforementioned Big Little Lies, which conspicuously has a second season on the way, despite being initially billed as a limited series event.
Though a period drama, the premise of Mrs. America certainly feels relevant to today’s social climate and movements born of the #MeToo era. Check out a brief official synopsis of the series below:
“Mrs. America tells the true story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Cate Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era - both Schlafly and second wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus - the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.”
The series is created and written by former Mad Men writer Dahvi Waller, and will be executive produced by Stacey Sher, whose past credits include Django Unchained, Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight, The Hateful Eight, Contagion, and Get Shorty. With a lineup like that, Mrs. America will likely be one of the biggest limited series to watch out for in the coming year, as production on the nine-episode event is set to get underway in 2019.
Mrs. America does not currently have a premiere date.