Apple signs deal to reboot Steven Spielberg's 'Amazing Stories' anthology series

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple has reportedly signed a deal with Amblin Television and NBCUniversal to revive "Amazing Stories," an anthology series created by Steven Spielberg that ran for two seasons in the 1980s.




Apple is planning to air 10 new episodes, spending over $5 million on each, sources for the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday. The people added that Spielberg is likely to be an executive producer.

Little else is known about the show, but the original was akin to series like "The Twilight Zone," or more recently, Channel 4 and Netflix's "Black Mirror." Its name was licensed from the science fiction magazine of the same name.

Rumors of Apple bidding on an "Amazing Stories" reboot have been circulating since at least last month. The company may also be pursuing a morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

"Amazing Stories," at least, is believed to be part of a broader $1 billion investment in original video programming, concentrating on big-budget dramas in the vein of "Breaking Bad" or "Game of Thrones." Those efforts are reportedly being led by former Sony Pictures Television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, as well as development head Matt Cherniss.

It's not certain where Apple intends to air the new shows. While they could be exclusive to Apple Music, that would limit their audience to a service where video is secondary and not geared towards playing on third-party TV streamers.

At the same time, Apple executives have talked about using video to pull people into Apple Music. The company has so far used documentaries and a handful of low-budget shows, namely "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke," to limited effect.

Recently it emerged that Apple was planning an Elvis Presley biopic series, but cancelled it after sexual harassment allegations emerged against Weinstein Company founder Harvey Weinstein.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    512ke512ke Posts: 769member
    Great idea! But anthology series don't have the streaming addictiveness of serialized drama. I'm sure Apple will come up with its HOUSE OF CARDS/BREAKING BAD/GOT.
    cali
  • Reply 2 of 21
    fmalloyfmalloy Posts: 104member
    Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. So, bring back past successes, make movies out of comics, movies out of TV shows, and TV shows out of movies. It's not a "remake", which sounds bad, it's a REBOOT! So hip!
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Hey Apple how about looking at independent film makers and writers for ideas instead of going for homogenized entertainment which is why everyone is abandoning broadcast tv for streaming services? Oh I forgot all you understand it mainstream, mass audience culture or tired formats like "planet of the apps". Here's you chance to add to culture instead of adding more noise. 
  • Reply 4 of 21
    fmalloy said:
    Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. So, bring back past successes, make movies out of comics, movies out of TV shows, and TV shows out of movies. It's not a "remake", which sounds bad, it's a REBOOT! So hip!
    People tend to forget that this is an age-old phenomenon. Heck, when Amazing Stories originally aired, it was paired with an updated version of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, bringing back a show that had been cancelled 20 years earlier.

    In fact, some would say that complainers are completely out of ideas because they keep dredging up this same complaint year after year, decade after decade.
    LukeCagetmaycalilollivercornchipedred
  • Reply 5 of 21
    fmalloy said:
    Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. So, bring back past successes,...
    The problem here is that Amazing Stories was never a success. It debuted to great ratings, then petered out. Coincidentally, as I recall, the episode quality followed the same trend line. One thing it did have going for it: a theme by John Williams. Hope they'll bring that back, at least. 


  • Reply 6 of 21
    I was a big fan of Amazing Stories, there were some really good episodes in that series.  This is the first Apple video content I'm actually interested in watching.  How does this work? Will you get it for subscribing to Apple Music?
  • Reply 7 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    This is great. Hopefully Apple keeps Spielberg as an associate or even contract him for Apple movies/shows.

    spice-boy said:
    Hey Apple how about looking at independent film makers and writers for ideas instead of going for homogenized entertainment which is why everyone is abandoning broadcast tv for streaming services? Oh I forgot all you understand it mainstream, mass audience culture or tired formats like "planet of the apps". Here's you chance to add to culture instead of adding more noise. 
    “All you understand is mainstream”

    iTunes? App Store?
  • Reply 8 of 21
    I like the Amazing Stories episode titled "The Mission"  I think it and one other was the only full hour episodes made.  The other episodes was half hour long.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,115member
    Looking forward to this. Good stories, well told, never go out of style. 

    There was a reboot effort of "The Twilight Zone" as well as the movie. Look at how many episodes of the original Rod Sirling version were turned out in a season - 30 or more. Maybe they were so good because  the stories were the centerpiece, not the production value.


  • Reply 10 of 21
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,512member
    This might work.  Spielberg is definitely capable of creating material that would not even offend an eight-year-old Sunday school girl.  Perfect fit for Apple.
    cornchipedred
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Peter Kafka (@pkafka)
    Apple is telling Hollywood - over and over again - that it wants to spend big on TV shows. It hasn't explained *why* it wants to do that.
    https://www.recode.net/platform/amp/2017/10/10/16454884/apple-tv-strategy-steven-spielberg-amazing-stories-streaming-nbc
    The story of Tim Cook’s Apple. We get the what but not the why. Is it because they have money that they don’t know what to do with? Is it to boost Apple Music subs? Or satisfy Wall Street’s obsession with “services” and recurring monthly revenue? Also now that Apple has he TV app does it make sense to dump stuff like this into the Music app?
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 12 of 21
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,995member
    quinney said:
    This might work.  Spielberg is definitely capable of creating material that would not even offend an eight-year-old Sunday school girl.  Perfect fit for Apple.
    You really can't do any worse than Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke. 
    SpamSandwichcornchip
  • Reply 13 of 21
    I think -- and I've consistently maintained -- that it's a strategic mistake for Apple to get into the content game.

    But what do I know...
    SpamSandwichcornchipmobird
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Putting non-music TV/film content on Apple Music — dumb, makes no sense. 
  • Reply 15 of 21
    cali said:
    This is great. Hopefully Apple keeps Spielberg as an associate or even contract him for Apple movies/shows.

    spice-boy said:
    Hey Apple how about looking at independent film makers and writers for ideas instead of going for homogenized entertainment which is why everyone is abandoning broadcast tv for streaming services? Oh I forgot all you understand it mainstream, mass audience culture or tired formats like "planet of the apps". Here's you chance to add to culture instead of adding more noise. 
    “All you understand is mainstream”

    iTunes? App Store?
    Gee thanks for pointing out my typo, now everyone will understand the point I was "trying" to make. 
  • Reply 16 of 21
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,144member
    cincytee said:
    fmalloy said:
    Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. So, bring back past successes,...
    The problem here is that Amazing Stories was never a success. It debuted to great ratings, then petered out. Coincidentally, as I recall, the episode quality followed the same trend line. One thing it did have going for it: a theme by John Williams. Hope they'll bring that back, at least. 


    2nd Time's the charm?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    I think -- and I've consistently maintained -- that it's a strategic mistake for Apple to get into the content game.

    But what do I know...
    I tend to agree unless the people in their entertainment division are able to work like Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm are with Disney. Almost no Disney interference.
    cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 21
    cincytee said:
    fmalloy said:
    Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. So, bring back past successes,...
    The problem here is that Amazing Stories was never a success. It debuted to great ratings, then petered out.
    I can't remember a single episode of Amazing Stories. I was just a kid but I DO remember being very excited about it coming out and then being mildly disappointed in it and then not really watching it. Hopefully they do a better job this time around.
    cincytee
  • Reply 19 of 21
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,085member
    I think -- and I've consistently maintained -- that it's a strategic mistake for Apple to get into the content game.

    But what do I know...
    Count me skeptical also. At least if it fizzles out it’s not something I count on to get work done. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    macseeker said:
    I like the Amazing Stories episode titled "The Mission"  I think it and one other was the only full hour episodes made.  The other episodes was half hour long.
    I believe "The Mission" was the pilot episode. It was not bad.
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