Michelle Obama is set to make a guest appearance in an episode of NCIS, CBS has confirmed. The First Lady is no stranger to guest television appearances, but her appearance in the drama comes under a more serious pretense.
According to CNN, Michelle Obama’s appearance will be part of the Joining Forces initiative she launched in 2011 alongside Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden. Obama and Biden launched the White House program as a platform to grow support for military service members, veterans, and military families. Since 2011, Michelle Obama and the United States’ Second Lady have been pushing to promote the program wherever possible.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Michelle Obama will be in character as herself in the episode of NCIS. The episode itself will set be set in Michelle Obama’s home, the White House, where the First Lady will welcome Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, and the wife of a Marine as they discuss the Joining Forces initiative. Unlike Michelle Obama’s other television appearances, this will be less of a cameo appearance and more targeted at giving some attention to her program. With that in mind, it seems largely appropriate that the First Lady has chosen a serious drama like NCIS as her platform.
Michelle Obama is, of course, no stranger to guest television appearances. Like other first ladies before her, she’s made plenty of interviews on TV and appeared on a number of scripted television shows, including most prominently a couple of sitcoms. With that in mind, her first appearance in a drama marks a big change for Obama. In 2014, Obama made appearances on both Jessie and Parks and Recreation, both TV sitcoms, with many commending Obama’s acknowledgment of popular culture during her time as First Lady.
During its time on TV, Parks and Recreation has attracted a number of high-profile politicians. Before Michelle Obama made her appearance on the show, Vice President Joe Biden also made a guest appearance, with the show’s protagonist Leslie Knope well known to be one of Joe Biden’s biggest fans. Michelle Obama’s role in the popular sitcom saw her make an appearance as a guest speaker at the National Parks Conference before recruiting Leslie Knope for one of her programs. Over its seven seasons, Parks and Recreations also saw guest appearances from Senator John McCain, former speaker Newt Gingrich, and, of course, Joe Biden.
Michelle Obama has definitely contributed to the trend of politicians appearing in popular culture. The current First Lady has broken new ground in her appearances on Parks and Recreation, Jessie, and, most recently, NCIS. It’ll be interesting to see whether the next First Lady or First Gentleman continues the trend of TV appearances when they arrive in their office come January 2017. What will be even more interesting to see is whether Michelle Obama continues her appearances in popular TV upon her departure from the White House, with many already claiming that she could have a successful acting career following the end of her tenure as First Lady.
For now, though, scripted television and dramas definitely appear to be a growing method for the White House to use to convey their messages. There are those who will claim that real-world politics should stay far away scripted television, but that doesn’t appear to be stopping Michelle Obama. “Homefront” is the episode of NCIS that’s set to feature First Lady Michelle Obama and will air Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, marking Michelle Obama’s first appearance in a scripted television drama series.
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