Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have set a deal to create new programming with Netflix, the streaming service announced Monday.
Through the multi-year agreement, the Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features, under their newly-established Higher Ground Productions banner.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – 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 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,” said Michelle Obama. “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.”
The news follows a New York Times report from March that stated the former White House residents were in talks to close a deal with Netflix to provide original series that “highlight inspirational stories.”
“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
The Times reported that the Obamas had also been courted by Netflix rivals Apple and Amazon, which have been attempting to expand their content offering to compete with the streaming giant.
This is the latest splashy deal for the company which recently signed away mega-producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes from their respective homes at Fox and ABC.
It also follows a joint book deal for Barack and Michelle Obama at Penguin Random House, reportedly worth as much as $60 million.