Obamas consider Netflix series highlighting 'lesser-known functions of government'

Obamas consider Netflix series highlighting 'lesser-known functions of government'
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Former President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPrinceton must finish what it started The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools MORE have acquired the rights to develop a potential Netflix series based on portions of a book detailing the work done at lesser-known federal agencies.

A spokeswoman for the Obamas' production company Higher Ground told The Hill in an email that the company has acquired the rights to develop a potential series based on "The Fifth Risk," a newly published book from author Michael Lewis centered on agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Energy.


Parts of the book focus on the shaky transition period as Obama left office and President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE took over in January 2017, but in an email the spokesperson stressed that no parts of the book related to the Trump administration or the transition will be developed for air.

"This project will not rehash the transition or examine the current administration -- or any administration, for that matter -- but instead will focus on the parts of [Lewis's] book that give life to the lesser-known functions of government," the spokeswoman said.

"Their goal is to produce a humorous series demystifying the little-known ways in which federal agencies improve our lives and serve our nation, from the food we eat to the planes we travel on," the email continued. "Michael Lewis has written a love letter to the often-nameless public servants who carry out core duties that most of us never think about but help us every day."

The Obamas' production company signed a multiyear deal with Netflix earlier this year to produce shows and other original content for the streaming service, which a spokesman for the former president said at the time was based on the pair's desire to support independent storytelling.

“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,” Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, said in May.

The New York Times reports that Lewis, who previously authored bestsellers "The Big Short" and "Moneyball," has criticized both Trump and Obama publicly in the past for the problems outlined in "The Fifth Risk," which he says have not been addressed.

“Trump is symptom, not just cause here,” Lewis said on a podcast with host Katie Couric, according to the Times. “We don’t elect someone who is so ignorant and negligent unless we got to the point where we so misvalue and misunderstand the thing he’s running.”