In June, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were apparently taking meetings all over LA. They went to various studios and production companies and the visits were described as “pitch meetings” for a mystery project. I mentioned those mysterious pitch meetings when the Sussexes’ Netflix deal was announced, and my assumption now is that the Sussexes were not pitching a mystery project, they were listening to various offers being made by studios and production companies. The Sussexes wanted the best deal for themselves, a deal which would get them the most money, for sure, but they also wanted freedom to pursue projects which would build their charitable/humanitarian/inspirational/mindful brand. Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, must have been concerned that he would lose the Sussexes to Disney+ or Hulu or NBCUniversal/Comcast, so he made them a generous offer. And here we are. Hastings spoke to CNBC yesterday:
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings has high expectations for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s upcoming programming on the streaming platform. On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Hastings shared his excitement for the upcoming series, films, and documentaries to be produced by the Sussexes, and said that he is confident they will be some of the most popular content on the platform.
“It’s gonna be epic entertainment—so excited about that deal,” Hastings said. “They’re smart—they were shopping it around across all of the major companies, and I think we really put together the best complete package, and we’re going to do a wide range of entertainment with them…. I think it’ll be some of the most exciting, most viewed content next year.”
When asked if Meghan would return to acting for any of the shows, Hastings clarified that both Harry and Meghan are solely focused on their new behind-the-scenes roles as executive producers. “The real focus for them is on being producers and on building a production capacity, so that’s the key thing,” relayed Hastings. “They’ve developed a great eye for story, and we’ll be working with them on that basis.”
“They’re smart—they were shopping it around across all of the major companies, and I think we really put together the best complete package…” Yep. That’s what those June meetings were about. The Sussexes knew what they wanted and they took a lot of meetings to see which company would give it to them. Netflix would. I feel like Disney+ probably made them a good offer too, but we’ll likely never know. I can’t wait to see how the British media flips this around to make it sound like the Sussexes are completely awful for, like, knowing their value and smartly shopping around. How dare they have good business sense!
Photos courtesy of WENN.