Variety reported exclusively yesterday that back in June, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were pitching media companies, including NBCUniversal, about a show idea. Variety’s sources were not able to confirm whether or not the Sussexes also met with Disney – of interest because she recently narrated the documentary Elephants. Also not known is whether or not the series is scripted or unscripted. What Variety’s sources say for sure, however, is that Meghan has no plans to act.
Needless to say, everybody’s now wondering what they could possibly be working on. The most obvious answer is that the show is related to their various causes – sustainable tourism and conservation, mental health, spotlighting veterans, and gender and racial equality. If they’re pitching already, I wonder if that means they’ve already set up a production company. People pitch all the time and don’t necessarily have a production company and often do it through their agents but then again, Harry and Meghan aren’t screenwriters. And pitching from that position doesn’t seem like it would fit their brand. The goal these days is to be able to generate content in-house.
When it first announced that Harry and Meghan were moving to LA permanently and building connections, one of the first comparisons was to the Obamas who have a prodco, Higher Ground, and a deal with Netflix. Higher Ground’s first film, American Factory, just won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Higher Ground is not just the Obamas though – there’s an entire team of content developers and creatives working alongside them who have established experience in the industry. If the Sussexes are pitching then, does that mean that we’ll be hearing soon about whatever version of their prodco they may have been building behind the scenes? Is an Obama-Sussex coproduction in our future?!
So beyond the actual story of whatever it is that they’re taking to media companies, it’s how that story fits into what could be a bigger story. The real intrigue here is the work the Sussexes have been doing to establish the platform from which they’ll be generating their content. Because no one stops at one series, you’re looking to construct an independent pipeline. And the first production out of the gate will set that tone.
Likely not a reality series then, LOL? As much as we’d all f-cking want that, it’s probably not The Sussexes: Life in America or The Royal Americans: Keeping Up With The Sussexes.
Please. It’s a fantasy, but we’d all watch the sh-t out of it.