HBO wins bidding war with Apple for J.J. Abrams sci-fi show 'Demimonde'

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Proving limits to Apple's corporate clout, HBO has reportedly won the rights to a J.J. Abrams science fiction show called "Demimonde," which was being shopped around in script form.




Abrams already had some preference for HBO, given an existing relationship and his being impressed by the network's treatment of "Westworld," according to sources for The Hollywood Reporter. "Demimonde" revolves around a scientist's daughter, who discovers her coma-stricken mother's research and ends up in another world fighting a larger battle.

Apple has so far picked up several shows for its upcoming high-budget TV endeavors, among them a sketch comedy show with Kristen Wiig, a sci-fi show by "Battlestar Galactica" veteran Ronald Moore, and a reboot of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories."

Apple is rumored to be launching its new TV slate in 2019. Rather than demanding an Apple Music subscription, as with past shows, the company is expected to make the new material available to anyone with a compatible Apple device, possibly through the "TV" app for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV.

The company's existing TV efforts have largely fallen flat, with a mediocre reception for both "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke," despite the involvement of many high-profile celebrities. Apple's upcoming efforts are concentrated on scripted material rather than "reality" shows, though there will be at least one documentary series.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Might not be about "corporate clout" so much as how much Apple offered compared to HBO.  If Apple wanted to, it could purchase the exclusive right to the Super Bowl, but (obviously) it won't be worth the (staggering) cost.
    SpamSandwichsmiffy31Rayz2016racerhomie3jbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I like how headlines cast everything as a “war” and Apple is either winner or loser. They know how to make people click.
    edited February 2 mike1randominternetpersonStrangeDaysLukeCagelolliver
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Wonder how much cause with the money Apple have already thrown at original content I’m surprised they’ve been outbid for anything.
    LukeCage
  • Reply 4 of 20
    The so-called “limits on Apple’s corporate clout” is self-imposed. You presume that Apple’s content division is tasked to win every bidding contest for anything produced by JJ Abrams. Apple can, but has never thrown endless buckets of money at acquiring employees, companies, real estate, or other assets. If Apple doesn’t sign this show, it’s not the end of Apple. Does anyone seriously think this TV show is that important to them, or does it reveal the “limits of Apple’s corporate clout”?
    mike1StrangeDaysbshanklolliver
  • Reply 5 of 20
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder how much cause with the money Apple have already thrown at original content I’m surprised they’ve been outbid for anything.
    Even though Apple has tons of money, doesn't mean they want to blow every cent of it on video content. Just like with most companies, each project, department, etc has a budget to follow. Otherwise, your spending could very easily outpace your revenue. 
    Rayz2016racerhomie31STnTENDERBITSbshanklolliver
  • Reply 6 of 20
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,662member
    "Proving limits to Apple's corporate clout, ..."

    Talk about hyperbole. All it proved was that HBO was willing to pay more for this show. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Rayz2016randominternetpersonStrangeDaysPickUrPoisonbshanklolliverjony0
  • Reply 7 of 20
    “Demimonde”? Starring Demi Moore?
    jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,806member
    A mediocre reception for Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke?

    From who? Apple customers or bloggers?
    racerhomie3bshanklolliver
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Rayz2016 said:
    A mediocre reception for Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke?

    From who? Apple customers or bloggers?
    Have you seen anyone raving about those shows?  Mediocre reception sounds accurate to me.  If they were big successes, they would have made some impact on social media.  The only mention I heard of either one in my personal network is someone complaining that she's have to have an Apple Music subscription to watch CK, and she wasn't interested in yet another monthly fee.  You don't hear the same complaints about West World or Stranger Things.  (Or you do, but it's drowned out by the other people just raving about those shows.)
    nhtjbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 20
    I like how headlines cast everything as a “war” and Apple is either winner or loser. They know how to make people click.
    Also note how often use the word "Admits" in their headlines. It's not explains or discloses, it's "admits" -- language loaded with a touch of dirty guilt.
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 20
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,905member
    Rayz2016 said:
    A mediocre reception for Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke?

    From who? Apple customers or bloggers?
    Have you seen anyone raving about those shows?  Mediocre reception sounds accurate to me.  If they were big successes, they would have made some impact on social media.  The only mention I heard of either one in my personal network is someone complaining that she's have to have an Apple Music subscription to watch CK, and she wasn't interested in yet another monthly fee.  You don't hear the same complaints about West World or Stranger Things.  (Or you do, but it's drowned out by the other people just raving about those shows.)
    I agree. I thought both shows were awful. I haven't heard one person say anything positive about either show. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 12 of 20
    I really wonder why they invest so much into moving pictures. The only answer I can come up with is that sooner or later when we hit the maturity ceiling of hardware aka iPhones and other hardware Apple may want to turn into a company that is diverifying more strongly between hardware and services with a growing focus on content. Such as amazon or others. Hm. Maybe it’s something altogether different strategy behind this. 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,682member
    Good! With Apple seemingly trying to be the Hallmark channel with watered-down "family friendly" content, especially compared to HBO, there's really nothing I'd want Apple to get if it's meant for adult viewing.
    bshankjbdragon
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Presumably Abrams is going with HBO because they won’t censor the content. That’s a significant win for the HBO brand and a possible reason why it could be a good move for Apple to acquire or establish an entertainment brand of their own which COULD accommodate more adult content (much like the Touchstone brand Disney established). Otherwise Apple will be constrained by Disney-level content while competing against Disney for the same audience.
    edited February 2 bshankrattlhedkingofsomewherehotbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Rayz2016 said:
    A mediocre reception for Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke?

    From who? Apple customers or bloggers?
    Have you seen anyone raving about those shows?  Mediocre reception sounds accurate to me.  If they were big successes, they would have made some impact on social media.  The only mention I heard of either one in my personal network is someone complaining that she's have to have an Apple Music subscription to watch CK, and she wasn't interested in yet another monthly fee.  You don't hear the same complaints about West World or Stranger Things.  (Or you do, but it's drowned out by the other people just raving about those shows.)
    I agree. I thought both shows were awful. I haven't heard one person say anything positive about either show. 
    I liked Planet of the Apps. Carpool Karaoke ,I did not like.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Presumably Abrams is going with HBO because they won’t censor the content. That’s a significant win for the HBO brand and a possible reason why it could be a good move for Apple to acquire or establish an entertainment brand of their own which COULD accommodate more adult content (much like the Touchstone brand Disney established). Otherwise Apple will be constrained by Disney-level content while competing against Disney for the same audience.
    Your first sentence was exactly my first thought. Abrams loves Apple. Would not be surprised if they're already working on putting something else together.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 20
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder how much cause with the money Apple have already thrown at original content I’m surprised they’ve been outbid for anything.
    I'm not sure how familiar you are with the industry, but the money Apple has spent is comparatively small.  Apple is rumored to have war-chested a billion dollars for content acquisition.  Comparatively, Netflix spent $6 billion for content in 2017 and is rumored to drop $8 billion this year.  For perspective, Apple's entire R&D budget was $10 billion.

    Apple has the money to outspend anyone.  No doubt.  They've chosen not to do so.  The money they've spent thus far is conservative for entertainment.
    PickUrPoisonjbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Have you seen anyone raving about those shows?  Mediocre reception sounds accurate to me.  If they were big successes, they would have made some impact on social media. 
    You could say that about 75% of the shows launched on Netflix and Amazon too. How many of them actually have much buzz? 
    lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 772member
    Presumably Abrams is going with HBO because they won’t censor the content. That’s a significant win for the HBO brand and a possible reason why it could be a good move for Apple to acquire or establish an entertainment brand of their own which COULD accommodate more adult content (much like the Touchstone brand Disney established). Otherwise Apple will be constrained by Disney-level content while competing against Disney for the same audience.
    That's a strong possibility, especially if Abrams plans on including sexual content. Language alone might not put Apple off given they have the Explicit tag in their iT music. What about movies from? Sorry to see Apple lose this round, it will be interesting to see if they do something with Abrams.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    macxpress said:
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder how much cause with the money Apple have already thrown at original content I’m surprised they’ve been outbid for anything.
    Even though Apple has tons of money, doesn't mean they want to blow every cent of it on video content. Just like with most companies, each project, department, etc has a budget to follow. Otherwise, your spending could very easily outpace your revenue. 
    Yes, obviously, but they have already spent large amounts on shows and movies, and they're going to keep doing it, so I was slightly surprised they were outbid.
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