Obama to host Netflix show in new deal


Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits with former first lady Michelle Obama prior during ...
Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits with former first lady Michelle Obama during the unveiling of their portraits at the Smithsonian. File Photo/Reuters

In Summary

  • Barack and Michelle Obama will work both in front of and behind the camera in a multi-year production deal with Netflix.
  • The unique pact was announced on Monday with the Obamas saying they want to harness "the power of storytelling" to promote common values.
  • The Obamas are giving Netflix valuable content that many of the streaming service's 125 million members may want to watch. 

Barack and Michelle Obama will work both in front of and behind the camera in a multi-year production deal with Netflix.

The unique pact was announced on Monday with the Obamas saying they want to harness “the power of storytelling” to promote common values.

“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 entire world,” Barack Obama said in a statement.

Former President Barack Obama makes his first talk show appearance with David Letterman since leaving office. Photo/CNN
Former President Barack Obama makes his first talk show appearance with David Letterman since leaving office. Photo/CNN

“Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership,” Michelle Obama added.

The first content from the Obamas will appear in 2019 at the earliest, according to a person involved in the deal.

Netflix did not specify a timeline. 

However, the company’s announcement of the deal said “the Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.”

Sometimes the former President and First Lady will be on camera as hosts or moderators, the source said on condition of anonymity. 

In other cases they will stay behind the scenes as producers. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

The Obamas are giving Netflix valuable content that many of the streaming service’s 125 million members may want to watch. 

Netflix is giving the Obamas a valuable platform to stay visible in their post-White House years.

The Obamas now need to hire a team of producers. They have set up a company called Higher Ground Productions “as the entity under which they will produce content,” Netflix said.

These types of exclusive production partnerships are common in Hollywood — in fact, Netflix has been attracting a bevy of A-listers, including Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.

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