Obama TV Could Be Headed to Netflix

We might be getting a different kind of presidential television, since Trump TV never came to pass.

by River Donaghey
Mar 9 2018, 5:54pm

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

For a time in 2016, back when Trump was still a shameful and odious presidential candidate and not yet America's shameful and odious president, it seemed like his whole plan was to use his candidacy to springboard into his own media conglomerate. The guy's supposed dream of Trump TV didn't come to pass since he somehow wound up actually winning, but it looks like we may soon get a very different kind of presidential television—Obama TV.

Former president and big-time Netflix enthusiast Barack Obama is in "advanced talks" to develop a slate of new content for the streaming service, the New York Times reported Thursday, potentially giving Obama his first big, post–White House project after learning to kiteboard.

According to the Times, the deal would allow both Barack and Michelle Obama to develop "high-profile shows" for Netflix. It's still unknown what these shows will look like—scripted? Unscripted? An Obama sitcom? A gritty reboot of the Obama presidency?—but sources told the Times that the Obamas have no plans to crank out content with Trump in their sights. Instead, they want to focus on "inspirational stories."

"President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire," Obama's senior adviser, Eric Schultz, told the Times. "Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories."

Netflix has already spent its last few years pulling high-profile TV and film stars like Shonda Rhimes, David Letterman, and Ryan Murphy into their orbit, but a content deal with a goddamn former president of the United States is a pretty massive get, even for Netflix. The streaming site reportedly paid a whopping $300 million for the Murphy deal—we can only imagine the kind of fat stacks it's dropping for Obama TV.

The contract isn't inked just yet, but it looks like it's moving in that direction. There's no word on how Trump feels about his predecessor heading into his old stomping ground—but at least the guy won't be able to tweet about ratings, since Netflix keeps those under wraps for its original content.

Between this upcoming Netflix deal and the Obamas' massive book deal, it looks like a flood of Obama content is about to be upon us. Hopefully, this will inspire Obama to take Spotify up on its offer to make him the "President of Playlists," too.

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