Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg relocated to Apple in 2017 after more than 15 years at Sony Pictures Television to build Apple TV+. In their first extensive interview as heads of Apple TV+, Erlicht and Van Amburg detail the process of building Apple’s bold video venture from scratch.
“This has been more than two years in the making,” Van Amburg says. “We’ve all been working so hard to do the best work of our lives. We’re anxious to begin to share that.”
One of the first things they had to wrap their heads around was that they were no longer working for a Hollywood studio. The traditional factors that had defined their options as studio chiefs for so long — budget deficits, international sales, syndication potential, et al. — no longer applied. Now, the guiding principle was to build a service worthy of the Apple brand that also harnessed the power of digital media.
The seasoned TV executives are no strangers to high-stakes launches and creative fliers. They’re the ones who championed a drama about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth magnate, which yielded the “Breaking Bad” juggernaut. This time around, however, the scorecard for success is entirely different. In etching the creative template for Apple TV Plus, Erlicht and Van Amburg have had to rely more than ever on their gut instinct about what constitutes distinctive TV.
MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait to sample the first slate of shows and see what we think of them, where the hits might be (and the flops) and how well the service works across devices.