Higher Ground Productions

Showtime alum Vinnie Malhotra joins Barack & Michelle Obama prodco Higher Ground Productions

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions has landed former Showtime exec Vinnie Malhotra to oversee its film & TV division. Malhotra left Showtime in February having been its EVP of non-fiction programming, working across docs, unscripted and scripted shows based on true events. He reports directly to the Obamas, but will also work […]

Obama’s Higher Ground snags SMAC Entertainment exec to head unscripted

Barack and Michelle Obama’s US-based Higher Ground Productions has hired SMAC Entertainment exec Ethan Lewis to head up unscripted. Reporting to Higher Ground’s head of film and television, Tonia Davis, Lewis joins the company as SVP of unscripted & non-fiction, having previously served as head of unscripted & branded content at Michael Strahan and Constance Schwartz-Morini’s firm, which he […]

Obamas’ Higher Ground TV & film chief exits as MTV, White House alums appointed

Barack and Michelle Obama’s US-based Higher Ground Productions has rejigged its senior team, with head of film & TV Priya Swaminathan set to leave later this summer. Swaminathan became the Obamas’ first permanent hire for the company when she was appointed in 2019 and the husband-and-wife founders praised her “tremendous impact”, adding that she had […]

Michelle Obama to cook up and host Netflix kids series

Netflix is working on a new children’s cookery show, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s US-based Higher Ground Productions and to be fronted by the former first lady alongside a pair of puppet co-hosts. The 10-episode series, titled Waffles + Mochi, is set to debut on 16 March and comes as part of the streamer’s multi-year […]

Netflix reveals multi-genre slate from Obama’s Higher Ground

Netflix has announced an upcoming slate of multi-genre programming from US-based Higher Ground Productions, the prodco founded by former US president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama. The content includes scripted and factual, as well as kids & family content, across both series and feature films, to be produced under Higher Ground’s deal with […]

Netflix orders kids animation from Chris Nee and the Obamas

Netflix has ordered an animated preschool series from former US president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground Productions and Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee. The 40 x 12-minute series Ada Twist, Scientist, is based on the books of the same name by author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts, telling the story […]

Netflix & Michelle Obama reveal launch of ‘Becoming’ documentary

Netflix is preparing to launch a documentary from Michelle and Barack Obama’s prodco Higher Ground Productions, which will offer behind-the-scenes access to the former First Lady. Becoming claims to offer “a rare and up-close look” at Obama’s life as she embarked on a 34-city tour following the release of her memoir in 2018. The film […]

Instagram’s IGTV orders Michelle Obama student series with ATTN

Social media giant Instagram has ordered a show exploring the lives of students with the former US first lady Michelle Obama. A Year Of Firsts is produced by US-based ATTN in partnership with Obama’s educational organisation Reach Higher and will document the lives of students who are starting their first year at university. The six-part […]

Obamas unveil first Netflix slate

Higher Ground Productions, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company in partnership with Netflix, has announced its first slate, spanning scripted, unscripted and documentary series. The projects are in different stages of development and are set to be released over the next few years, according to Netflix. They include a biopic of anti-slavery campaigner Frederick […]

The Obamas’ set exec team for Higher Ground Productions

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have set the leadership team for their Higher Ground Productions, which inked a multi-year deal with Netflix last year. Priya Swaminathan, who was previously announced to have been working with the company, has been named as co-head of Higher Ground, along with Chernin Entertainment’s Tonia Davis. Swaminathan and Davis […]