Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s second project with Netflix received minimal attention compared to their highly-publicized docu-series “Harry & Meghan,” and recent reports indicate that it may have fallen short commercially. Titled “Live to Lead,” the series featured interviews and conversations with influential leaders in government and activism. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, the show likely did not meet Netflix’s expectations in terms of success.
On December 31, 2022, “Live to Lead” premiered with seven episodes. Although Markle and Prince Harry did not appear on-screen, they were acknowledged in the title card as the presenters: “Presented by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.” The WSJ report, based on discussions with sources at Netflix and the Sussexes’ production company, Archewell, revealed that “Live to Lead” failed to secure a spot on Netflix’s prestigious Top 10 lists. While specific ratings data remains scarce, the WSJ article categorizes Markle and Prince Harry’s Hollywood endeavors as a “flop.”
“Live to Lead” followed closely after “Harry & Meghan,” a documentary series that delved into the couple’s love story, wedding, and their experiences within the royal family until 2020. While the Sussexes effortlessly captivated viewers with their personal narrative, WSJ suggests that they encountered challenges in generating interest for projects that didn’t directly involve them. An insider hinted that they struggled to find projects that aligned with their brand identity.
Insiders even said that they suspect Netflix will end its deal with Markle and Prince Harry. The company paid $100 million to secure the Sussexes when they moved back to the U.S., and so far only two projects have come to fruition. One other was canceled early on in production while at least two more were rejected before they began. Sources at Archewell said that the contract is up in 2025.
Officially, spokespeople for Archewell and Netflix refuted these claims. The statement from Netflix emphasized the stellar performance of Harry & Meghan – the company’s biggest documentary debut ever – but made no mention of Live to Lead. It said: “We’ll continue to work together on a number of projects.” It’s worth noting that Archewell and Spotify recently ended their $20 million deal, saying that they mutually decided to part ways.
With new personnel and new strategies in the works, there’s no telling what could come next from Archewell. For now, both Live to Lead and Harry & Meghan are streaming on Netflix.