In Depth

Barack Obama in advanced talks with Netflix over TV shows

Former president and first lady to create and present set content for streaming service

Barack Obama is in talks with Netflix about producing a series of high-profile television shows.

The former US president and his wife, Michelle, are negotiating with the streaming service, which has nearly 118 million subscribers, sources told the New York Times.

Obama’s motivation is to highlight inspirational stories “rather than use the opportunity to hit back at political opponents and critics, including the Trump administration”, says TechCrunch.

The Netflix deal, “while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com”, says the New York Times, would give Obama an unfiltered channel of communication with an audience “similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page”.

The number of episodes and format of the shows has yet to be decided but the streaming website has beat competitors such as Amazon and Apple to the former president's signature.

Obama’s senior adviser, Eric Schultz, told the New York Times: “President and Mrs Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire. Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better.

“As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

One possible show could see the former president “moderating conversations on topics that dominated his presidency, including healthcare and climate change”, says The Guardian.

“Another programme could feature the former first lady discussing topics such as nutrition, which she championed in the White House.”

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