These Are the TV Shows and Movies the Obamas Are Making With Netflix

The productions from the former president and first lady included scripted dramas and documentaries

By Chris Harnick Apr 30, 2019 5:50 PMTags
Barack Obama, Michelle ObamaSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

You remember Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, right? Of course you do. What you might not remember is they signed a deal with Netflix. Yes, the Obamas and Netflix, two powerful forces, are coming together for a variety of new movies and TV shows under their Higher Ground production company.

"We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That's why we couldn't be more excited about these projects," President Obama said in a statement. "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."

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"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," Michelle Obama said in a statement. "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."

Coming soon from the Obamas on Netflix is:

American Factory
This film was acquired fresh out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it won the directing award for US documentary. The film looks at a post-industrial Ohio where a Chinese billionaire opened a new factor in the abandoned General Motors plant.

The scripted series is described as an upstairs/downstairs drama in the world of fashion after World War II. Set in New York City, the series will show the barriers women and people of color faced in the era. Nashville's Callie Khouri is writer and executive producer on the series based on an idea developed by Khouri, Clement Virgo and Juliana Maio.

Untitled Frederick Douglass movie
Higher Ground is producing a film adaptation of David W. Blight's book Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.

This scripted anthology series is an adaptation of The New York Times' ongoing obituary column of the same name. The column tells the stores of individuals whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper.

Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents
This half-hour preschool series hails from Jeremy Konner and Erika Thormahlen and will educate kids and families about food.

Fifth Risk
Based on Michael Lewis' book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, this non-fiction series will look at the work done by everyday heroes who guide our government.

Crip Camp
A feature-length documentary about a summer camp for disabled teens in the 1970s.

The projects will be released over the coming years.

"President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the Higher Ground team are building a company focused on storytelling that exemplifies their core values," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, said in a statement. "The breadth of their initial slate across series, film, documentary and family programming shows their commitment to diverse creators and unique voices that will resonate with our members around the world."