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HBO Ex-CEO Richard Plepler Close to Apple Production Deal

Plepler would create original content for Apple TV+

Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler is in talks for a production deal with Apple TV, one rival of the upcoming HBO Max, a person close to Apple told TheWrap.

Apple TV Worldwide heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are leading the discussions, the person said. The news was first reported by Wall Street Journal, which added the deal could be finalized within the next few weeks.

Apple declined to comment.

Plepler, who exited HBO earlier this year after three decades, is launching a production company, RLP & Co.

Plepler left HBO in February as its new owner, AT&T, was re-fashioning Time Warner into WarnerMedia. Plepler’s departure came as former NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was being installed to the same post atop WarnerMedia, which is launching its own streaming service, HBO Max, next May.

Plepler is one of the most significant figures in what has been dubbed the modern Golden Age of television. He had a storied three-decade tenure with HBO, helping the network earn a whopping 160 Emmys and climb to the top of the industry.

During Plepler’s tenure, HBO greenlit critically-acclaimed hit series like “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.” He also oversaw the launch of primetime originals at sister network Cinemax and a successful segue into streaming with HBO Go and HBO Now.

The news comes on the same day that another one of Apple’s streaming competitors, Disney, launched its own streaming service, Disney+.  Apple TV+ launched on Nov. 1.