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Obamas Sign Deal With Netflix

Multi-year production deal is expected to see them both behind, in front of the camera
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2018 2:44 PM CDT
In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, then-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wait to greet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini for a State Dinner at the White...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they have signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, the AP reports. 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 rumored 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 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 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. No content from the deal is expected to be available until at least 2019, said the person familiar with the deal.

(Read more Netflix stories.)

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