Apple has recruited a broadcasting executive based in the United Kingdom, Jay Hunt, as it moves to make a more aggressive push in original programming. This is the first time that Apple is making a high-profile hire with an extensive background outside the United States.
Before being hired by Apple, Hunt was Channel 4’s chief creative officer. During her time at Channel 4 the Big Brother reality show was axed, Black Mirror and Gogglebox were developed and the Great British Bake Off was poached from the BBC. At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Channel 4 also received the Channel of the Year award twice. Hunt was at Channel 4 for seven years. Before joining Channel 4 Hunt worked as BBC One’s controller where she commissioned hits such as Sherlock and Luther. She also served as Channel 5’s director of programs.
International creative development team
Hunt is expected to begin her stint at Apple next year in January where she will play a major role in the company’s international creative development team. She will be stationed in London. Apple’s international creative development team will be headed by Morgan Wandell who was poached from Amazon. Some of the work Wandell was involved in during his time at the online retail giant’s original programming division include The Man in the High Castle and Jack Ryan, a Tom Clancy adaptation.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has set aside over $1 billion which be invested in original programming in the course of the next one year. At least ten television shows are expected to be produced with this amount.
The international creative development team will be reporting to Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were recently hired by Apple in June from Hollywood studio Sony Pictures Television. Some of the hit shows associated with Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg include Breaking Bad, The Blacklist and The Crown.
Hunt’s hiring comes in the wake of the iPhone maker landing Amazing Stories, a big-budget television show associated with Steven Spielberg. The show, which blends science fiction and horror, first aired on NBC in the 1980s and received critical acclaim though it was not a ratings success.