The Obamas Are Officially Making Netflix Shows Now
The former president and first lady just signed a massive deal.
Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Apparently Obama isn't too busy grinding away on his multi-million-dollar book deal and enjoying his newfound kiteboarding skills to also make a pivot to video. On Monday, Netflix officially announced that Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year deal to produce a slate of new shows and movies for the streaming service.
According to Netflix, the Obamas "will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features," under their new production banner, Higher Ground Productions, meaning that they've basically got free rein to do whatever they want.
"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," President Obama said in a press release.
"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 added. "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."
Netflix is already dominating the game right now, with 700 new shows dropping this year and an ever-expanding roster of film and TV stars in the mix, but locking down a massive deal with a goddamn former president and first lady is still pretty huge. Nearly 40 percent of viewers named Netflix the best source for original content in a recent poll, beating out HBO, Hulu, and Amazon, so we'll have to see if some hot new Obama TV will help the streaming service widen that lead.
"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," Netflix head Ted Sarandos said. "We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities."
There's no word yet on what kind of projects the Obamas want to bring to Netflix—a Letterman-style Obama talk show? A White House workplace sitcom like the Obamas' favorite show, Parks & Rec? Or maybe a political thriller that could fill the gap soon to be left by Barack's other favorite show, House of Cards?—but don't expect any true-crime shows about the shady shit inside the Trump White House or whatever, because a source told the New York Times back when the deal was still in talks that the Obamas only want to focus on "inspirational stories." Hopefully that means a straight-to-series deal for that Barack and Joe Biden time-travel adventure cartoon, since nothing would be more inspiring than seeing Barry and Joe go fully Jonny Quest on some evil political figures from the past.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow VICE on Twitter.