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Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes” had potential to be “pivotal stepping stone”

Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast had the potential to help the royal further her Hollywood career, but its ending after just one season proved to be unfortunate, an expert told Newsweek.

August 23 marks the one-year anniversary of Archetypes’ debut episode, with the 12-installment series developing on its aim to “dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back.”

Throughout the show, Meghan interviewed a number of high-profile guests, including Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton. They all shared their experiences with individual labels applied to women in modern-day society, such as “diva,” “ambitious” and “bimbo.”

Meghan Markle "Archetypes" Podcast
Meghan Markle listens to headphones in London, January 9, 2018. The duchess’ podcast “Archetypes” ended after just one season.
Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The project was Meghan’s first major solo venture since splitting from the monarchy with Prince Harry in 2020. It was also the first developed piece of content released through the couple’s multi-million-dollar partnership with streaming giant Spotify.

The show found success with its audience, but it was announced in June 2023 that, after just one season, Meghan and Harry had parted ways with Spotify. Entertainment expert and founder of MarkMeets, Mark Boardman, told Newsweek was an “unfortunate” development in Meghan’s post-royal career.

“It’s been 12 months since Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast debuted and, over these past 12 months, we’ve witnessed a series of highs and lows in the journey of the Duchess of Sussex,” Boardman said.

“While the podcast marked a significant venture for her, it’s unfortunate that it concluded after just one season. This departure raises questions, especially considering her evident commitment to carving out a successful path in the industry.”

Boardman added: “She clearly wants to find her way and make a successful career for herself in the industry. The Spotify deal, which held promise for propelling her new direction post-Suits, could have been a pivotal stepping stone and have helped her capitalize on her new direction.”

The reference to Suits comes as the hit legal show, on which Meghan starred from 2011 to 2017, has seen a stellar revival in interest over recent weeks as it began streaming on Netflix in the U.S.

Already available to Peacock subscribers, the addition of Netflix saw an increase in viewers, causing the show to rise up the streaming charts to break a series of Nielsen records for audience engagement.

As of the streaming period, from July 17 to 23, over 3.8 billion minutes of the show was viewed in the U.S. This was more than three times that of its closest competitor, Disney+ show Bluey, which streamed 1.2 billion minutes.

To date, Suits is a highlight in Meghan’s Hollywood career, though she has said she is now interested in pursuing a career behind the camera.

Meghan Markle "Archetypes" Podcast
Meghan Markle poses for the cover art of her Spotify podcast “Archetypes”, 2022. The royal parted ways with the streaming company in June 2023.
ARCHEWELL AUDIO/SPOTIFY

Archetypes, Boardman said, had the potential to show Meghan’s power and ability to achieve to Hollywood insiders. However, the split with Spotify after releasing so little content may not inspire confidence.

“It did receive recognition by securing a podcast People’s Choice Award,” Boardman said of the show, which was also given a Gracie Award in 2023.

“Critics and audiences alike deemed the 12 episodes of Archetypes a success for Meghan overall, evident from robust streaming figures.

“Yet, given the initial three-year deal signed by Harry and Meghan and the notable guest list featuring stars like Mariah Carey, Serena Williams, and Paris Hilton, there was room to infuse more edginess and a lighter, more relatable side of Meghan that could have resonated with a wider audience and broken more barriers in the process,” Boardman added.

At the time of Meghan’s split with Spotify, a spokesperson for the duchess told The Wall Street Journal that the duchess is “continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform.”

To date, no future podcasting projects have been announced. However, the royals have taken steps to move into the book adaptation for screen market. News broke earlier this month that Harry and Meghan’s production company is working with Netflix to adapt the hit novel Meet Me at the Lake.

Author Carley Fortune told the magazine Vogue: “I’m so thrilled about working with Netflix and Archewell to bring Meet Me at the Lake to the screen. Will and Fern’s [main characters] love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership.”

The project is expected to be some time in hitting screens, owing to the ongoing Hollywood actors and writers strike.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.



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