HBO's former CEO Richard Plepler strikes five-year Apple TV+ deal

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Richard Plepler, HBO's former chief executive of 27 years, has landed a long-term content deal with Apple TV+.

Richard Plepler with Game of Throes star Emilia Clarke


Plepler and Apple had been hashing out a deal that would bring more content to Apple's budding streaming service. Now finalized, the arrangement comes as a five-year deal in which his new company, Eden Productions, will produce television series, feature films, and documentaries exclusively for Apple TV+.

"It was instantaneously clear to me that I had a wonderful and very privileged run at HBO and I wasn't going to be able to duplicate that again," Mr. Plepler said in an interview, according to the New York Times. "And I didn't want to try to duplicate that again. It felt very clear to me that I just wanted to do my own thing."

While he alluded to talks with several people about his life after HBO, he went on to state that he'd been only seriously considering Apple.

"I thought that Apple was the right idea very quickly, just because it was embryonic enough that I thought maybe, you know, I could make a little contribution there," said Plepler.

It also wouldn't be the first time he'd worked with Apple. Plepler worked with Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services when Apple and HBO collaborated on HBO Now. Much like HBO Now, Apple TV+ is comprised of exclusive "boutique" shows, rather than the hodgepodge of content associated with Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu.

Talks began in July, according to Plepler, who planned on approaching Apple's Zach Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.

"If they weren't responsive I didn't want to pursue the conversation," said Plepler. "They could not have been both more generous and more enthusiastic."

Van Amburg spoke positively about bringing Plepler on board.

"Jamie and I ran a studio for years, and we know how exciting it is to produce and start businesses," Van Amburg said. "We have a longstanding mutual admiration with Richard, and we're looking forward to helping him build a dynamic production company and seeing him thrive with us at Apple."

Plepler was born in 1960, and studied government at Franklin & Marshall college. After a short stint working for Senator Christopher Dodd, Plepler moved to New York City, and opened a public relations firm.

In 2007 through 2013, he served as co-president with Michael Lombardo, and launched "True Blood," "Game of Thrones," and "Veep." In 2013 Plepler drove both HBO and Cinemax, reaching about 130 million subscribers between the two services.

Richard Plepler departed HBO in February, following the service's acquisition by AT&T's Warner Media.

Apple TV+ was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook on March 25. In a presentation that was replete with star names, at the time, Apple would only say that the service is coming in the Fall and be available via the Apple TV app.

The service launched on November 1, for $4.99 a month, and free to purchasers of Apple's new stable of devices. There were some critical reviews of programming at launch, but viewer response has been somewhat better.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 948member
    He is the guy who made HBO the monster it is and AT&T essentially pushed him out.

    This could prove to be a very big deal.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 540member
    The man is a genius - this is a BIG score for Apple.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraMacQccornchip
  • Reply 3 of 18
    This does seem like it could be a great match, assuming Apple is more willing than AT&T was to give this guy the freedom and resources that he needs to develop great material. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    This does seem like it could be a great match, assuming Apple is more willing than AT&T was to give this guy the freedom and resources that he needs to develop great material. 
    Do you think Apple will allow the creation of family friendly shows like True Book and Game of Thrones?
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    This does seem like it could be a great match, assuming Apple is more willing than AT&T was to give this guy the freedom and resources that he needs to develop great material. 
    Do you think Apple will allow the creation of family friendly shows like True Book and Game of Thrones?
    Have you watched SEE with starring Jason Momoa? It’s "family friendly" with graphic violence, ritual masturbation and cunnilingus. Sounds to me like you simply don't know what you are talking about and are parroting a negative narrative you know nothing about. So just can it, will you.
    emig647Rayz2016leavingthebiggwatto_cobraMacQcStrangeDayschasmcornchip
  • Reply 6 of 18
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 237member
    lkrupp said:
    It’s "family friendly" with graphic violence, ritual masturbation and cunnilingus.
    Apparently there is a lot to "See."

    watto_cobradysamoriaMacQc
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Looks like a smart deal. You’re paying for contacts in the entertainment biz.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
  • Reply 9 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    edited January 2020 StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    emoeller said:
    The man is a genius - this is a BIG score for Apple.
    What qualifies him as “a genius”?
  • Reply 11 of 18
    lkrupp said:
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    Curious what three first episodes of what series did you watch? There is a variety of content to choose from on Apple TV+. 
  • Reply 12 of 18
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member
    lkrupp said:
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    I’ve never seen it, but thanks for the heads up. I’ll pass on that too if it ever makes it to Europe. 
  • Reply 13 of 18
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member

    iOS_Guy80 said:
    lkrupp said:
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    Curious what three first episodes of what series did you watch? There is a variety of content to choose from on Apple TV+. 
    I watched Morning Show (soap opera), For All Mankind (couldn’t they find an original title instead of reusing the title from a 1989 documentary??), and the one with the Pakistani immigrant girl.  All very uninspiring.

    I love Apple hardware and software and wish they’d stick to what they do so well. 

  • Reply 14 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,001member
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, there’s no accounting for taste. We loved For All Mankind and The Morning Show. See was fine but the violence too graphic IMO. 

    Your crits against FAM is it shares a title? Errnnt. TMS isn’t a soap opera, unless you mean to say a drama that isn’t a period piece or action show, in which case all contemporary dramas are now soap operas. Errnnt.
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 15 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    lkrupp said:
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    Curious what three first episodes of what series did you watch? There is a variety of content to choose from on Apple TV+. 
    Well, here’s the bottom line. Personal opinions of content mean absolutely nothing, especially when expressed online. Remember that the internet is tremendously skewed to the negative. There are large numbers of people who go negative on everything they encounter... just because.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member

    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, there’s no accounting for taste. We loved For All Mankind and The Morning Show. See was fine but the violence too graphic IMO. 

    Your crits against FAM is it shares a title? Errnnt. TMS isn’t a soap opera, unless you mean to say a drama that isn’t a period piece or action show, in which case all contemporary dramas are now soap operas. Errnnt.
    So here we have the traditional dichotomy of opinion. When Apple announced Apple TV+ people were pissing and moaning over whether Apple would allow edgy, adult content or order only family oriented content. Now we have people wanting more family oriented content and less adult content. The fact that both sides are bitching  and dissatisfied means Apple hit the sweet spot in between.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member

    Your crits against FAM is it shares a title? Errnnt. TMS isn’t a soap opera, unless you mean to say a drama that isn’t a period piece or action show, in which case all contemporary dramas are now soap operas. Errnnt.
    If by “your crits against FAM is it . . .” you mean that that’s my only criticism against it, then no, it’s not. My main complaint is that it’s slow and not up to what I would expect from a market leader like Apple. That’s why I wish Apple would limit itself to hardware and software. 
  • Reply 18 of 18
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member

    lkrupp said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    lkrupp said:
    fred1 said:
    I hope he’ll make a lot of improvements. I watched three first episodes of Apple TV+ shows using my free one year subscription and that was enough for me. Boring, or soap operas, or both. 
    Well, you must really hate Disney+ then. Almost no original programming, just a back catalog of movies we’ve all seen since childhood. Baby Yoda is about all they’ve got right now.
    Curious what three first episodes of what series did you watch? There is a variety of content to choose from on Apple TV+. 
    Well, here’s the bottom line. Personal opinions of content mean absolutely nothing, especially when expressed online. Remember that the internet is tremendously skewed to the negative. There are large numbers of people who go negative on everything they encounter... just because.
    Of course personal opinions mean something, of content, of quality, of necessity, of value, etc. They are exactly what marketing is all about: changing people’s “personal opinions” to favor their products. 
    And no, I am not part of the group you seem to believe exists that disses everything, just because it can.  You, on the other hand, seem very eager to give a negative reaction to my opinion, which I don’t presume to be anything more than my opinion.
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