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Apple picks up scripted drama from Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston

by Justin Herrick | November 9, 2017November 9, 2017 7:00 am PST

Apple is expected to spend $1 billion on original programming through next year, and we’re starting to see what type of series the company is interested in.

The company picked up two scripted series attached to well-known names in the entertainment industry. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston, Steven Spielberg, and Bryan Fuller are the people involved with the content that’ll kickstart Apple’s presence in video streaming. Though it’s possible, neither of the shows are expected to premiere in 2018.

A two-season order has already been given to the scripted drama starring Witherspoon and Anniston, which will be based on the battle between morning shows like Good Morning America and Today. Jay Carson, who’s worked on House of Cards, will write and produce the untitled show. It’ll use Brian Stelter’s Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV as reference material. Although it’s still being planned out, picking up the project is a sign Apple can bring in high-profile names over the competition. Other companies were heavily interested in the show as well.

Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, an anthology series that first aired in the 1980s, makes its return with Bryan Fuller as the showrunner. Fuller, who revived Hannibal for NBC a few years ago, will be tasked with leading a show that has a per-episode budget of $5 million. Apple intends to have different acclaimed talent put together each episode.

This won’t be Apple’s first dive into original programming. In 2017, the company premiered its first two shows. Both were unscripted, however. Carpool Karaoke from James Corden and Planet of the Apps debuted in the summer and fall, respectively. Apple has yet to pick them up for second seasons.

What’s still unknown is how Apple plans on distributing its content. The original programming could be released on iTunes, but there’s a better chance Apple creates something more traditional based on a subscription or advertising.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...