Apple is looking to make a splash as it jumps into the original content arms race, nearing a deal with iconic director Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and NBCUniversal to reboot the 1980s sci-fci series “Amazing Stories.”
The move marks a strategic coup for Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the former Sony execs hired by Apple earlier this year to build its stable of original programming.
“It’s wonderful to be reunited with our colleagues Zack and Jamie in their new capacity at Apple,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment, in a statement. “We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming, and can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved “Amazing Stories” franchise with the genius of Bryan Fuller at the helm and more exciting creative partnerships to come.”
The original “Amazing Stories,” which was created and produced by Spielberg, ran from 1985-1987 on NBC. It failed to catch on with audiences, but did score five Emmys — including a directing win for Spielberg for “The Mission,” starring a young Kevin Costner as a World War II gunner pilot.
“Hannibal” creator Bryan Fuller is writing the new “Amazing Stories,” and will be joined by Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey as executive producers on the series.
For Apple, the tech heavyweight is set to drop $1 billion on content in the year ahead, aiming to enter a competitive space dominated by streaming giants like Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. Apple is looking to produce about 10 big-budget original shows in the next year.