Obamas Acquire Rights to Michael Lewis’ ‘The Fifth Risk’

President Barack Obama has acquired the rights to the Michael Lewis book The Fifth Risk for his production company, Higher Ground, which has a deal with Netflix. The book is about the transition from Obama’s presidency to that of Donald Trump. It looks closely at the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Energy, and how they were affected in the transition.

President Obama agreed to a production deal with Netflix in May, involving scripted series, unscripted series, docuseries, documentaries and feature films. He runs Higher Ground with his wife Michelle.

In the New York Times, a Higher Ground spokesperson said the project would focus on the civic lessons explained in the book, and will not take shots at President Trump.

Lewis announced the deal on a podcast hosted by Katie Couric Nov. 1. His other books include Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short.

The Fifth Risk came out last month. Publisher W.W. Norton describes it thusly: “What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence."

“Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.