The Obama’s Announce Several TV Shows And Movies Heading To Netflix
(Writer: Doug Quimby)
The Obama’s have announced that they will be bringing several movie and TV series to the streaming service Netflix. The Obama’s, along with their production company Higher Ground, will be releasing three movies and four TV series, with one of the shows being made for preschool aged kids. This announcement of the new content is a result of a deal the company signed with Netflix last May.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” President Obama told the Hollywood Reporter. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all.”
The Obama’s have gotten former Chernin film exec Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan to be the heads of Higher Ground, with Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen brought on as a creative exec.
It seems that both Obama’s are very excited to be bringing content to the streaming service. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Michelle Obama said “We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it’s all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives, We think there’s something here for everyone — moms and dads, curious kids and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life — and the conversations they’ll generate.”
It is inspiring to see that they are providing a platform for ideas to flourish. They have adapted works from film festivals and renowned novels and are transforming them to the form people are seeking. Streaming services are the new cable. It is a new frontier for entertainment and education and it is exciting to see what people can bring to the table.
Here are the seven projects set to be released on Netflix over the next few years:
The documentary was acquired by Netflix in association with Higher Ground Productions out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the directing award for U.S. documentary. From Participant Media, the film is directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy winners Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, A Lion in the House, Seeing Red). The acclaimed film takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires 2,000 blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America. The producers are Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello.
The drama is described an upstairs/downstairs series set in the world of fashion in post-WWII New York City that depicts barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress. Bloom is written and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Callie Khouri (Nashville, Thelma and Louise, the upcoming Aretha Franklin movie at MGM), from an idea developed by Khouri, writer-director Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes, The Wire, Empire) and novelist and producer Juliana Maio (City of the Sun). Higher Ground Productions, Khouri, Virgo and Maio will executive produce the series.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
Higher Ground is producing a feature film adaptation of author David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, for which he won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. The New York Times called the book “an ambitious and empathetic biography of a major American life.”
The scripted anthology TV series is adapted from The New York Times’ ongoing obituary column of the same name, telling the stories of remarkable people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper, Higher Ground is developing it as a scripted anthology series with producers Liza Chasin of 3dot Productions and Joy Gorman Wettels of Anonymous Content.
Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents
The preschool TV series will be a half-hour entry from creators Jeremy Konner (Drunk History) and Erika Thormahlen. The show will take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food.
From Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of The Big Short and Moneyball, and based on his book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, the nonfiction series will aim to portray the importance of unheralded work done by everyday heroes guiding our government and safeguarding our nation.
This feature-length documentary film in production is supported by the Sundance Institute and was acquired earlier this year by Higher Ground and Netflix. Just down the road from Woodstock, in the early 1970s, a parallel revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers that would transform young lives, and America, forever by helping to set in motion the disability rights movement. The film is directed by former camper Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham. Producers include Newnham, LeBrecht and Sara Bolder, with executive producer Howard Gertler.
Although it may sound weird that the Obama’s have a production company and that they’ll be producing TV and movies for Netflix, I think they’re going to be supplying some good content for the streaming service. I’m personally excited to see American Factory, which project are you interested in seeing?