If you think TV is competitive now — and only this morning we were talking about how the sheer number of different networks and services competing for content and eyes, from traditional networks to streaming services, has caused a soaring of cost in producing TV — just wait until one of the biggest companies in the world get involved. Having conquered (at least for a while) the smart phone, tablet and music markets, Apple have been making noises about joining companies like Netflix and Amazon in producing their own original content for a while.
So far, their only existing forays have been in reality or entertainment world — the “Shark Tank”-like “Planet Of The Apps,” and the James Corden spin-off “Carpool Karaoke.” But they’re planning a move to scripted content too, with a Dr. Dre show also starring Sam Rockwell and Ian McShane being long in the can. And now, The Hollywood Reporter have spilled the beans on exactly what’s going on behind the scenes of the tech giant, and the kind of shows that they’re looking to bet the bank on.
Having hired Sony execs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht back in the summer, producers have been out at Apple, who are looking for “big, smart, splashy dramas” along the lines of “Game Of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown,” unsurprisingly. The company were apparently close to landing Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched,” a “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” prequel show starring Sarah Paulson, as one of their first big buys, but Netflix ultimately outbid them, partly by giving it a two-season order, and partly by also including a hefty sum to continue to stream Murphy’s “American Horror Story” on the service.
Still, some similarly big names are currently being bid on — a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s anthology show “Amazing Stories,” and a drama about a morning show that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. The former was in development at NBC a few years ago, being overseen by Bryan Fuller, with writers including Patton Oswalt, “Kingsman” scribe Jane Goldman and “The Big Sick” creator Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. But the network lost the rights a few years back — it’s unclear for now whether they’ve started again from scratch, or if Fuller & co are still involved.
The Witherpoon/Aniston show was initially announced earlier in the summer, after the success of “Big Little Lies,” with “House Of Cards” veteran Jay Carson writing. At the time, HBO and Netflix were said to be keen, and may well end up landing the show over Apple — it’ll certainly be interesting to see how it shakes out. Names like Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, “Battlestar Galactica” mastermind Ron Moore, “Black Panther,” “Creed” director Ryan Coogler and “The Good Place” genius Mike Schur are also set to be on the hitlist, as are the creators of “Making A Murderer.”
That said, Apple are still keeping exactly how these shows will reach viewers under wraps. Will they be for sale on iTunes? Part of an Apple Music-style streaming service? Or something else entirely? Having somewhat struggled to get a music-streaming foothold against Spotify, it’ll be interesting to see if the tech giant have better luck here. We imagine we’ll start to hear some firm news about what’s coming from Apple in the very near future.