The Obamas Set A New Scripted Comedy For Netflix With Regina Hicks

"The Upshaws" co-creator Regina Hicks just inked a multi-year overall deal with Netflix and her first new project involves a collaboration with former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. As you've probably noticed, outside of their political careers, the Obama's dabble in production. Their partnership with Netflix has been through their production company, Higher Ground Productions, co-run by Priya Swaminathan, Tonia Davis, Ada Chiaghana, and Alex Pitz. Their previous work has included "Becoming," the documentary based on Michelle Obama's life, the festival darling "Crip Camp," and the Academy-Award winning "American Factory."

Earlier this year, they announced plans for a new wave of both movies and shows, ranging from sci-fi films and biopics to those more in line with their previously produced documentaries. Based on this latest update, Higher Ground will continue to expand beyond documentary work to explore new genres. Partnering with Hicks, the company will produce a new scripted comedy series for Netflix.

The Hicks-Obama Partnership

According to THR, the untitled series follows the lives of four middle-aged Black women in Houston, Texas, and explores "how they navigate a world of affluence while also balancing the everyday scenarios of women of a certain age." Hicks is set to write and serve as showrunner, with the Obama's executive producing. Higher Ground's Tonia Davis and Ada Chiaghana will oversee the series. Netflix's head of comedy, Tracey Pakosta, praised this collaboration and especially the input of Hicks, saying:

"Regina's shows always feel authentic and relatable. She's an amazing writer and producer who's given audiences laugh-out-loud moments mixed with a lot of heart and humanity for years. I can't wait for her to expand on her work at Netflix, and I'm especially looking forward to this first project with Higher Ground."

Hicks is currently the co-creator and co-showrunner of "The Upshaws," another Netflix comedy series starring Wanda Sykes. The sitcom following a Black working-class family premiered in May 2021 and has already been renewed for a second season. Hicks is also known for much of her previous work, as co-executive producer for Showtime's "The L Word," and HBO's "Insecure," in addition to many writing credits, which include "Marlon" and "Girlfriends." Most recently, Hicks helped pen the script for "Sister Act 3." Hicks also expressed excitement about the upcoming Netflix comedy:

"I absolutely love that I now get to work with the folks at Higher Ground. Putting the voices of Black women on the screen is so important to me and I can't think of a better team to do it with."

As for Higher Ground, their pivot from documentaries to fictional works continues, with the goal of highlighting "stories that embody the values the Obamas have championed throughout their lives. The projects selected are a reflection of these values and a commitment to quality storytelling." Upcoming projects include a film adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's critically-acclaimed novel "Exit West," a biopic on Tenzing Norgay, who was the first person to reach the peak of Mount Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary, and a series adaptation of the Angeline Boulley book, "Firekeeper's Daughter," a YA thriller about a biracial Indigenous teen rooting out corruption in her community.