This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
Advertisement

The Obamas are going into the TV business together

The former US president and first lady have announced a deal with Netflix.

A rumoured deal with Netflix has been confirmed.
A rumoured deal with Netflix has been confirmed.
Image: Chris Radburn/PA Images

BARACK AND MICHELLE Obama are getting into the television business after announcing that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.

The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In announcing a deal that had been rumoured since March, Netflix offered no specifics on what shows they would make.

Netflix said the Obamas would make “a diverse mix of content,” potentially including scripted and unscripted series, documentaries or features.

“We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the wider world,” Barack Obama said in Netflix’s announcement.

The Obamas can be expected to participate in some of the programming onscreen, said a person familiar with the deal, not authorised to talk publicly about it, on condition of anonymity.

The programming itself is not expected to be partisan in nature.

The type of people that Obama — like other presidents — brought forward as guests at his State of the Union addresses would likely provide fodder for the kinds of stories they want to tell.

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” Michelle Obama said.

PastedImage-81591 Source: Twitter/Netflix

No content from the deal is expected to be available until at least 2019, said the person familiar with the deal.

The former president appeared in January on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Obama is said to be friendly with Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, and discussions for other programming were already under way.

“We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities,” Sarandos said.

Netflix has 125 million subscribers worldwide. The company has always been reluctant to discuss how many people watch its programming, but it clearly dominates the growing market for streaming services.

Roughly 10% of television viewing now is through these services, the Nielsen company said.

Forty-nine percent of streaming being viewed now comes through Netflix, and no other service comes close, Nielsen said.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (31)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel