Meghan Markle’s new Netflix project discussed by Ford
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The couple’s publicity saga continued this week after Harry announced he is releasing his memoirs in 2022. Published by Penguin Random House, he said he would be writing the book, “not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become”. Meghan has similarly been busy, having last week confirmed she was working on the couple’s second production for Netflix as part of their mammoth £109million deal.
‘Pearl’ will follow a 12-year-old girl’s “heroic adventures” as she converses with noteworthy women from history, with the Duchess as executive producer alongside Elton John’s husband, David Furnish.
Many have commended the pair for their efforts to make “inspirational” programming.
Others, however, have drawn attention less to what Meghan and Harry might get out of the deal, and more on how Netflix will benefit from acquiring two of the most talked about humans on the planet.
Simone Ferriani, Professor of Entrepreneurship at City, University of London and at the University of Bologna, said the streaming giant has got the pair on board right when its series, ‘The Crown’, is exploding around the world.
Meghan Markle: The pair will likely boost the popularity of The Crown, according to an expert (Image: GETTY)
Heart of Invictus: Harry’s first Netflix show will follow competitors taking in part in the games (Image: GETTY)
While Meghan and Harry will have no say on the contents of The Crown, Professor Ferriani said their presence will take the series to a “whole new level”, ultimately garnering perhaps millions more subscriptions for Netflix.
He told Express.co.uk: “This is no ordinary series.
“We are talking about one of the most successful titles ever in the history of Netflix.
“A series that has become globally so wildly popular to drive up subscriptions, according to some estimates, by one to three percent alone (we are talking about five to six million new members).
“Now, and here comes the key thing, the highly-anticipated final seasons five and six are those that will cover the Queen’s reign into the 21st century, including of course Megxit, arguably the event that captured most global headlines in the post-Diana history of the Royal Family.
Contracts: The pair have signed a string of lucrative contracts since leaving the Royal Family (Image: GETTY)
“Think about the heightened resonance that the new seasons of The Crown will have now that the two real-life royals have become Netflix’s content producers.
“Even if officially Meghan and Harry have no dealings with The Crown, for me, it is obvious that their becoming part of the Netflix’s family will take it to a whole new level of verisimilitude, fuelling global cultural zeitgeist and added audience demand.
“Sure, Netflix’s spokespeople heralded the deal as a celebration of Meghan and Harry’s creative vision, but the sheer reality is that Archewell Productions – the production company established less than one year ago by Meghan and Harry – has no track record whatsoever to suggest that they have an eye for exceptional content and storytelling.”
It is worth noting, however, that Suzanne Mackie, The Crown’s executive producer, earlier this year told Broadcast that the show would come to an end with the royals in the early 2000s.
She explained this was because recent events, including Megxit, haven’t had enough time to “gain a proper perspective”.
Nonetheless, when Meghan and Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey for their bombshell interview in March, a cultural sensation ensued.
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The Crown: The series has been a hit for Netflix, attracting a global audience (Image: PA)
Olivia Coleman: She famously played the Queen in seasons three and four of The Crown (Image: GETTY)
Memes flooded the Internet, and 17.1 million people tuned in to watch it live – not to mention those who watched it on catch-up services.
Prof Ferriani said this is just one in a series of examples showing the “potential synergistic effect of the Meghan and Harry and The Crown brands”.
He continued: “The Crown helped pave the way for the American public sympathy toward Megxit, and the extraordinary interest in Meghan and Harry (as testified by Oprah’s highly anticipated interview), will loop back around into new craze for future seasons of The Crown.
“Add to this the fact that high status people want to be around other high status people so, just like the Obamas (who too in 2019 signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix), Meghan and Harry may prove to be invaluable as a magnet for other deals and talents.”
Royal jargon: Some of the royal jargon used in The Crown, explained (Image: Express Newspapers)
It might go some way in explaining why neither Netflix nor Spotify have yet to comment on the lack of projects announced by Meghan and Harry.
They have revealed just two productions for Netflix, with their Archewell Audio podcast series on Spotify having published only one episode – a 30-minute piece with other famous people talking about how they coped in lockdown.
Daniela Elser, writing for News.com.au, noted while creating TV series’ and podcasts takes time, “the clock is ticking for Harry and Meghan to prove they are worth such astronomical sums of money”.
She drew a parallel with other famous names who struck deals with streaming platforms like Shonda Rhimes, and Barack and Michelle Obama.
The Me You Can’t See: Harry pictured speaking during the first episode of his Apple TV series (Image: Apple TV)
It took them 11 months from the signing of their contracts to reveal their debut slate of seven projects for the company.
Meghan and Harry passed that 11-month mark earlier this month, but to no announcement.
Russell Myers, the Daily Mirror’s royal editor, recently told Australia’s ‘Today’ programme that bosses from both streaming platforms would soon be “wondering where their hard-earned dollars are going exactly”.