Black-ish Creator Just Signed a Deal with Netflix and Insiders are Saying It’s Worth $100 Million - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Black-ish creator Kenya Barris just entered into a multi-year deal to create a new series exclusive to Netflix, according to a press release on Netflix’s website.

Industry-watchers, including those at Variety, estimate the deal to be worth approximately $100 million.

From Variety:

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the deal, which carries an option for an additional two years, is valued at roughly $100 million— putting Barris in the same ballpark as recent Netflix recruits Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.

Rhimes is slated to have eight original Netflix productions in the works. She left her longtime home at ABC Studios in 2017 and moved her Shondaland production company to Netflix. In return, the TV mogul signed a lucrative nine-figure deal with the streaming giant.

“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers,” said Cindy Holland, vice president, Original Content at Netflix in a released statement. “Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”

“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage startup called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” said Barris via a press release. “But after I talked to Ted and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something… so I decided to take a swing… a leap of faith if you will, and take a chance with the new kids on the block.”

Netflix has been courting big names to produce content as of late. The company even managed to sign on the Obamas.

Oprah Winfrey is another media mogul who scored a massive deal not with Netflix but with Apple. In June, Cupertino announced it had formed” a unique, multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN. Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pact includes everything from film, TV, applications, books and other content that could easily be distributed on Apple’s all-encompassing platform—not including podcasts. They also report that Winfrey’s Harpo Films will own any and all content produced under the Apple partnership, in line with Winfrey’s longtime business model.

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Samara Lynn

Samara Lynn is a technology journalist, covering the industry for a decade. Her work appears in The Wirecutter, Tom's Hardware, PC Mag, and other online outlets. She's the author of "Windows Server 2012: Up and Running" and previously worked in the IT industry. She's currently the digital manager at Black Enterprise.


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