Wired takes a deep dive into Apple’s streaming ambitions and Ronald D. Moore’s ambitious space-race drama For All Mankind.
Ten days after Planet of the Apps premiered, Apple announced that it had hired two television veterans to head up “video programming worldwide.” Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg had been copresidents of Sony Pictures Television for a decade…
Though the timing of Apple’s announcement seemed comically coincidental, Erlicht and Van Amburg had been talking to Apple for some time. In its quest to develop content that could hold up to fare from Netflix and Hulu, the company had been discussing possible partnerships with numerous studios, including Sony. “Obviously we were intrigued,” Erlicht says. At the time, “there wasn’t an agency, production company, or studio that wasn’t trying to hunt down what Apple would be doing.” When they were eventually offered the job (and accepted), one of their first calls went to Van Amburg’s old friend: Ronald Moore.
If Apple were a person—if it truly took mortal form—that form might be Ron Moore. Like Apple, Moore has created epochal works that improve on the halting steps of their predecessors. And like Apple, he imagines a future that meshes with how humans actually behave and what they expect. Apple might call that Human Interface Design; Moore has called it “naturalistic science fiction.”
“We’re not doing demographic programming,” Van Amburg says. “No one here is sitting around saying we need to find the next show for males 18 to 34, or the next show for females older than 32. We’re defining our programming by quality.”
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