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Barack and Michelle Obama Sign Multiyear Production Deal With Netflix

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMark Wilson/Getty Images

The Obamas are staying busy after leaving the White House. Netflix announced on Monday, May 21, that Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have signed a multiyear deal to produce TV shows and movies.

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The streaming service said in a press release that the former president, 56, and the former first lady, 54, will produce a “diverse mix of content” — including potential scripted and unscripted series, docuseries, documentaries and other full-length features — under their new company, Higher Ground Productions.

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“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,” Barack said in a statement. “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.”

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Michelle 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. 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 Obamas are just two of the many high-profile names that have recently teamed up with Netflix. The company poached Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes from ABC in August for a deal valued at more than $100 million, according to Variety. Meanwhile, Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy inked a Netflix deal that could reach upward of $300 million, via The New York Times. The value of Barack and Michelle’s deal is unknown.

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In addition to their new Netflix deal, the Obamas are each writing books. Michelle’s memoir, Becoming, is set to be released on November 13. Barack (who recently appeared on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman) has yet to schedule a date for his memoir.

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