“The world’s biggest company is officially taking meetings as everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Steven Spielberg salivates over selling the first big show,” Lacey Rose reports for The Holywood Reports. “Apple’s Los Angeles-based execs are busy lining up the first batch of potential shows. In recent weeks, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, poached from Sony Television in June to spearhead Apple’s content acquisitions and video strategy, have been spotted all over town making their pitch to agents and studio executives.”

“Though Apple isn’t looking to replicate the pace or scale of rival Netflix’s $6 billion annual spend, it is eager to be in the prestige content business in a significant way,” Rose reports. “Per multiple sources briefed on the company’s plans, its executives are looking for big, smart, splashy dramas, with at least one citing Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Crown as models.”

“Already, the Cupertino company’s Culver City outpost has leap-frogged much of its competition in the Hollywood hierarchy, with multiple agents acknowledging that any project they would take to Netflix or HBO is now taken to Apple as well. Some credit the company’s brand cachet for its overnight status; others cite the $260 billion-plus in cash on its balance sheet, which should translate to a content budget of at least $1 billion in year one. The credibility of Van Amburg and Erlicht is said to play a considerable role as well,” Rose reports. “According to multiple sources, Apple had hoped that Ryan Murphy’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest origin series, Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson as the diabolical nurse, could have been among its first shows. Van Amburg and Erlicht, who sat with the prolific producer to discuss the project this summer, made a rich, multiseason offer. But, like Hulu, Apple ultimately was outbid by Netflix.”

“Outside of the swift, ambitious play for Ratched, Apple’s approach has been slow and deliberate, by design. Though the company has been deluged with nearly every script in town, knowledgeable sources say execs there pass on most of them,” Rose reports. “At press time, the company had bids out on only a handful of projects, including an update of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s sci-fi, horror, fantasy anthology series, Amazing Stories, and a morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, according to several involved.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s certainly nice to see Apple finally getting serious about original content, however late they may be. Apple definitely has the resources to extremely quickly cover the ground that been ceded so far via clueless dithering and mismanagement.

Apple should use their cash pile to create some much needed leverage to finally get their Apple TV subscription bundle(s) up and running even if all they do is flash their cash around. — MacDailyNews, January 14, 2016

Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.MacDailyNews, May 6, 2014

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