The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have hired the Fargo Producer as head of scripted TV for Archewell Productions.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have expanded their team by adding Nishika Kumble, the producer of blockbuster crime drama Fargo to their lineup of A-list employees.
Nishika was previously Vice President of Development and Production at Rashida Jones and Will McCormack’s Le Train Train Productions.
She was also previously Director of Development at Noah Hawley’s 26 Keys Productions where she produced multiple seasons of FX’s award-winning series Fargo and Legion.
She has been appointed Head of Scripted TV for Archewell Productions to lead all scripted television productions and work closely with Netflix to produce entertaining content from diverse voices that inform, elevate, and inspire.
The hiring process for the position spanned a year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The publication revealed that Nishika will report to former FilmNation production president Ben Browning, who joined Archewell in March as head of content.
Browning has worked on features such as The Big Sick, Arrival, Room, and most recently, the Oscar-nominated film, Promising Young Woman.
“From the moment they shared their vision for Archewell as a global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories, I knew I wanted to help with this unique opportunity,” Browning told Forbes.
Nishika isn’t the only new addition to the Archwell team. Chanel Pysnik was recently hired as head of unscripted TV and Rebecca Sananes as Head of Audio.
Chanel has previously worked as CNN’s director of development for the original series, as well as director of international content for Disney+.
The Sussexes signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix in September 2020, which will see them produce an array of content, including documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows, and children’s programming.
The statement from the organization reads: “Archewell Productions was founded by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2020 to produce programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world by embracing our shared humanity and building community through similar experiences, powerful narratives, and universal values.”
Since setting up Archewell Productions in 2020, the couple has already announced two Netflix series as part of the deal: Pearl and Heart of Invictus.
Heart of Invictus is a docu-series following competitors on their journey to the Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded in 2014. It will also be executive produced by Prince Harry in partnership with The Invictus Games Foundation.
Meanwhile, Pearl is an animated series that “centers on the heroic adventures of a 12-year-old girl who is inspired by influential women from history,” with Meghan Markle serving as executive producer.
“Like many girls her age, our heroine (Pearl) is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Meghan explained in a statement. “I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.”
The undisclosed deal to provide exclusive content to Netflix’s 190 million subscribers worldwide could be worth $150 million, insiders told entertainment industry news site Deadline, and it followed a similar deal by the Obamas.
In a statement, the Sussexes said: “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.”
They also added that Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
Other details about the series include being co-produced by Elton John’s husband David Furnish, including which influential female figures will feature.
However, the choice of name for its young “heroine” offers a fair amount of insight into the kind of character that will be portrayed on screen.
David, 58, a Filmmaker, will also serve as an executive producer on the series Pearl, which will “weave together fantasy and history”.
It was previously alleged that Meghan has begun working on her new animated Netflix show with David in 2018, two years before she left Britain.
Insiders declared that discussions about this new program have been “active” for three years, but they also told the website that the project started as a charitable venture when Meghan was a working royal.
Details of Harry and Meghan’s production deal with Netflix were revealed with the streaming service’s CEO Reed Hastings saying it would result in “epic entertainment”.
He told CNBC’s Squawk Box: “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.”
While Prince Harry and Meghan may appear on camera in documentary programming, the duchess declared that she will not make a come-back to acting.
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