In new innings, former US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle sign multi-year deal with Netflix

Former US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle sign multi-year deal with Netflix
Former US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle sign multi-year deal with Netflix

The former US President and former first lady of the US have set up their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material

Jasnoor Kaur, The Hush Post: Barack Obama, former President of the United States (US) and his wife Micchelle Obama are all set to start a new inning in the television business. The Obamas announced on Monday about their signing a multi-year deal with Netflix.

The former US President and former first lady of the US have set up 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, a report said.

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

“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 was quoted as having 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 authorized to talk publicly about it, on condition of anonymity. The programming itself is not expected to be partisan in nature; a president who often derided the way things were covered on cable news won’t be joining in, the report said.

“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 was quoted as saying.

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

Barack Obama 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 underway, it was reported.

“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 per cent of television viewing now is through these services, the Nielsen company reportedly said.

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