With Election Day nearing, PBS offers a look at the role of the first lady and talks to two women whose husbands are running for president.
"It's not the easiest job in the world," said Ricki Green, producer of "The First Lady: Public Expectations, Private Lives."
The documentary airs on Monday at 10 p.m. on WETA, and on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on MPT.
"Many expectations go with the role no matter who comes in -- and you must be very careful not to trip over these unwritten rules," Green said.
The PBS Election 2004 special is hosted by Stockard Channing, who plays first lady Abigail Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing."
The hour-long documentary, which focuses on recent presidential wives, includes interviews with Laura Bush and Teresa Heinz Kerry, who talk about their lives and how they view the role of first lady. The interviews are conducted by Margaret Warner, senior correspondent for PBS's "The Newshour With Jim Lehrer."
"I liked putting together the stories of Laura and Teresa and finding the connections and differences and how different their personalities are," Green said. "There's one line that says, 'One serene and steady, the other feisty and passionate.' "
Also interviewed are former first ladies Barbara Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as historians and social critics. The special also will feature the results of a public opinion poll on the role of the first lady.
And on Friday at 10 p.m., cable's A&E Network airs "All the Presidents' Wives," a two-hour documentary that takes a longer historical view, going back to some of the first women who had to juggle the public and private aspects of their lives.
Each first lady has taken a different approach, the program says. Some have served as socialites and philanthropists while others acted as diplomats or advisers to their husbands.