Meghan and Harry branded ‘naive’ for thinking Netflix show Pearl would be a hit
Meghan Markle: Expert discusses background of 'Pearl' project
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed their deal with Netflix as part of a series of commercial opportunities the couple pursued after stepping down from royal duties. Meghan, 40, and Harry, 37, partnered with the streaming service to create content that “informs but also gives hope”.
While no exact figure has been disclosed the deal is speculated to be worth around $100m (£72m).
When announcing the partnership with Netflix with their Archewell Productions division, the couple said they want to produce documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, all of which aim to be “inspirational”.
Meghan and Harry announced two projects for the partnership, but one of them – a children’s programme – was scrapped last week amid a wave of cost-cutting measures.
Pearl, the working title for Meghan’s animated show, was due to follow a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history.
Now a source has claimed the couple may not have fully grasped “how the process of landing a show worked”.
The Sun quotes a source as saying: “Executives feel that in some aspects Harry and Meghan appeared to be naive about how their deal would work.
“Certainly there was a belief that they thought that Pearl would simply be presented and released.
“The word was that they were saddened the show was not picked up.”
The source then said that often “people forget” that each project “faces vetting” and that the business “has the right to veto projects, delete scenes and oversee editorial direction in their work.”
They went on to claim that Netflix would have “the best interests of the brand” in mind, before adding that Meghan and Harry are not given any special treatment.
They said: “Just because they are royalty, they are not treated any different to others in the arena of programme commissioning.
“Sure getting in the door for meetings may be easier than for most others, but Netflix still hold projects to account on what they feel is good value for money or be of interest to audiences.”
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Pearl was described as being a “heartfelt adventure comedy series”, and Meghan was expected to serve as executive producer alongside David Furnish – Elton John’s husband.
Meghan said at the time of announcing it: “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges.”
It was shelved by Netflix following a decline in subscriber numbers and plummeting share values.
Sources also claimed that Meghan and Harry were pitching the project to other TV networks and streaming services.
The couple’s other project, a documentary entitled ‘Heart of Invictus’ is set to be released later this year.
It follows groups of competitors as they prepared for the Invictus Games which took place in The Hague last month.
Meghan and Harry flew to the Netherlands to attend.
They were followed by a film crew while meeting those taking part and while participating in activities including helping children drive tiny Land Rovers.
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