Apple loses out to HBO on bid for J.J. Abrams’ new sci-fi series

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JJ Abrams
Abrams went with the established HBO over newcomer Apple.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia CC

Apple may have $268.9 billion in cash on hand, but it doesn’t get everything it wants. According to a new report, Apple lost out to HBO on acquiring a new original TV series written by J.J. Abrams, his first since 2008’s Fringe.

Called Demimonde the series is about a family whose mom winds up in a coma following a car crash, after which her daughter and husband are transported to another world to fight a monstrous, oppressive force. HBO is describing the series as, “an epic and intimate sci-fi fantasy drama.”

Apple is said to have “aggressively pursued” acquiring the Abrams project, but lost out to its more seasoned rival HBO. Abrams reportedly decided to go with HBO after being impressed at the way it handled the sci-fi series Westworld, on which he is an executive producer. HBO is currently looking for a show to pick up the slack after Game of Thrones comes to an end in 2019.

Apple’s original TV shows slate

So far, Apple’s other greenlit original programming includes an Amazing Stories reboot from Steven Spielberg, a news-business comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, a sci-fi drama series from the show runner of Outlander, Are You Sleeping, a show about a Serial-style crime podcast that reopens a murder case, and others.

Apple reportedly plans to spend a $1 billion “war chest” on original programming in 2018, which could rise to $4.2 billion per year by 2022. No dates have been announced for when Apple will begin debuting its original dramas, or how it plans to distribute them.

Source: Hollywood Reporter