Reports indicate that Apple will be rebooting Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, a science-fiction television series which gained a cult following in the 80s. The series ran on NBC between 1985 and 1987 and the reboot was originally planned to air on the same network. Apple has ordered 10 episodes.
Among the executive producers on the anthology series will be Bryan Fuller, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The new content deal is between Universal TV, Spielberg-owned Amblin Television and Apple.
“We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming, and can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved ‘Amazing Stories’ franchise with the genius of Bryan Fuller at the helm and more exciting creative partnerships to come,” said NBC Entertainment’s president, Jennifer Salke.
When it ran on NBC, Amazing Stories was nominated for 12 Emmy’s and went on to win five during its two-season run. The critical acclaim of the show did not however translate into ratings success. Besides being a co-creator Spielberg also served as a director on two episodes of the show during the first season.
Four months ago Apple hired former presidents of Sony Pictures television Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht who were charged with the responsibility of overseeing original series production. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has set aside approximately $1 billion which will be invested in original programming as the iPhone maker sets its sights on competing with Amazon and Netflix.
Prior to Van Amburg and Erlicht joining Apple, the largest company in the world by market capitalization had dabbled in original programming with mixed results. One of its first shows was ‘Carpool Karaoke’ which was based on James Corden’s CBS Show ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’. There was also a reality show known as ‘Planet of the Apps’ which was tech-themed.
Since neither of the shows turned out to be a game-changer, executives at Apple are of the view that there is need for quality programs which can meet the high standards that consumers have come to expect from the tech giant. It is hoped that bagging a series that was co-created by Stephen Spielberg will see Apple moving in that direction.