Apple is continuing to put its content budget to work. The tech company has added to its growing list of original series with “Are You Sleeping.” The drama, which is is currently in development, will star Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “Hidden Figures”) and was created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Chernin Ent/Endeavor Content will produce the series, which is based on Kathleen Barber’s novel of the same name.
“Are You Sleeping” is the second project Apple has teamed with Hello Sunshine on. This past November, the tech company ordered yet-to-be named scripted series from the production company that is expected to star Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon herself.
This is the third major original series to come out of Apple’s recent efforts to build a major scripted video offering, following the news that Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” anthology series will land with the company. The anthology is to be executive produced by Spielberg in partnership with Bryan Fuller, who will serve as showrunner.
Apple has also made significant efforts to build its video team at the company. In June 2017, the company hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who helped produce “Breaking Bad,” “Better Caul Saul,” and “The Crown.”
Erlicht and Amburg have made several hires since joining the team, including Cherniss in August and former Amazon Studios executive Morgan Wandell in October, along with other television executives including former head of current programming at Sony Pictures Kim Rozenfeld, former VP of drama development at Sony Pictures Max Aronson, and former director of creative affairs at Sony Pictures Ali Woodruff. Most recently, the company added TV veteran Michelle Lee to the team. Lee, who was brought on as a creative executive at Apple Worldwide Video, has helped develop and produce several programs including “Rise” for NBC, “The Path” for Hulu, “About a Boy” for NBC, and “Pure Genius” for CBS.