- Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon will be in Apple’s first scripted series.
- The series will be a drama set in the world of a network morning show.
Apple has lifted the veil on its first scripted series efforts: a drama set in the world of a network morning show and a revival of anthology “Amazing Stories” shepherded by Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller.
The straight-to-series orders for both projects are the first fruits of the effort to rev up Apple Video’s entry into the premium TV arena. The tech giant recruited former Sony Pictures TV presidents Jamie Erlich and Zack Van Amburg in June to head the production push, which aims to target a global audience.
The big question surrounding Apple’s video effort is the distribution plan. It’s unclear if Apple will make the shows available by iTunes or another platform, and whether access will be based on a subscription or advertising-based model.
The untitled Aniston-Witherspoon drama hails from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res studio, Aniston’s Echo Films and Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner. The starry project was highly sought after by a number of outlets and landed a two-season order (10 episodes per season) from Apple. Media Res, Aniston and Witherspoon are the principle owners of the show.
The series is based on an idea from Ellenberg and will draw background material from CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter’s 2013 book “Top of the Morning,” which recounted the recent rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Jay Carson (“House of Cards”) is writing the pilot and will serve as showrunner. Stelter is serving as a consultant.
“Amazing Stories” hails from Universal Television and Amblin Television. Spielberg, Fuller, Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey and “Bones” creator Hart Hanson are exec producers.