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After Presidency, Obama in Talks with Netflix to Produce TV Shows

Barack Obama may have just found the perfect role to stay relevant in the world of politics after eight years of presidency. According to sources, the former president of the United States is in advance talks with the streaming giant Netflix for creating his own series of television shows which may give viewers insight on his life after departure from the White House.

Politician Turned Producer

May 04, 2015: Former President Barack Obama on the Late Show with David Letterman

The role of a high-profile producer seems to be quite unusual for someone of Barack Obama’s caliber, whose entire life has been devoted to politics, but the former president is keen on using his talent behind the camera and expertise from his powerful political view to bring the world a series of unique television shows. Barack and Michelle Obama are currently in the midst of serious negotiations with Netflix on the number of episodes per show and the payment for producing them.

Although more details about the deal are yet to be revealed, it is known with certainty that the former president will not use his new platform to criticize Donald Trump or his administration, as the sources familiar with the deal have assured. According to them, the shows are meant to highlight incredible real stories from all around the country.

Telling Inspirational Stories

This new role, while not a direct response to his critics or adversaries, would still give the former president a method of unfiltered communication which he didn’t have access to before. The Obamas are huge believers in the power of story-telling and how it has helped them achieve tremendous success in their personal and professional lives.

On Thursday, the Obama’s senior advisor revealed that, throughout his life, the former president has admired and highlighted stories of people who are quietly doing their part in changing the world for the better. Now, despite his presidency coming to an end, Obama wishes to pursue his passion help other find their voice and explore different avenues for sharing inspirational stories.

Mar. 2018: Former President Barack Obama part of the première episode of David Letterman’s series on Netflix

Possible Show Ideas

It isn’t clear how many shows the high-profile couple will produce for the streaming giant, but a few possible show ideas have been revealed by sources: one show could lend a voice to the topics Barack Obama has devoted much of his time in the White House such as climate change, immigration policies and healthcare. In another possible show, Michelle Obama could use her expertise in the department of nutrition to educate the masses. The Obamas may also make appearances as well as endorse other programs and documentaries which align with their values and beliefs.

Netflix, which is currently moving towards producing its own shows instead of outsourcing them from other production giants like HBO, recently paid Ryan Murphy $300 million to steer him away from 21st Century Fox – but the paycheck is justified since Murphy is one of the most sought-after people in the production business – the same cannot be said about Barack Obama who lacks experience in the field. Nevertheless, other streaming entities such as Apple and Amazon have expressed interest in taking the former president on board, believing that his expertise will become a valuable addition to their streaming platforms.

Netflix’s Hunt for Original Content

Ever since leaving office, the Obamas have maintained a low profile and are rarely seen outside their Washington home. The couple still makes millions of dollars for delivering inspirational speeches in the US and around the world, and they recently raked in $60 million for writing their first ever memoirs after leaving the White House. Despite Trump’s criticism on Obama’s policies and an intentional effort to revert his legacy, the former president has chosen to avoid any clashes with the current administration.

As the competition for streaming services grows, Netflix has started searching for original content that can help the giant fare better against competitors like Amazon, Apple and HBO. Their effort also includes increasing the 2018 budget to $8 billion in order to recruit more talented producers for their content. The company has reportedly spent top dollar on its Oscar-winning documentary Icarus as well as hit television show Stranger Things. Now, bringing a strong political personality on board will add a new dimension to the expanding streaming platform.

Do you think Barack Obama’s new approach is a direct challenge to Trump’s administration and the news establishment?

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