Former HBO boss could bring more socially conscious shows to Apple TV+

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Apple TV+
Apple TV+ has featured a diverse range of shows so far.
Photo: Apple

Cupertino could be looking to snap up more socially conscious original shows for Apple TV+ that examine issues such as identity and sexuality, a new report suggests.

Financial Times bases its claim on a new hire made by former HBO boss Richard Plepler. Plepler, who recently signed a five-year exclusive deal with Apple TV+, has hired literary agent Heather Karpas. Her LinkedIn page notes that she is interested in books about “minority and female perspectives on identity, sexuality, and power; examinations of emotional trauma and means of catharsis; and explorations of dysfunctional friendships and families.”

Karpas joins Plepler’s Eden Productions from talent agent ICM Partners this month. The FT notes that her hiring comes at a time when demand for books to adapt by Hollywood has soared. Karpas previously represented authors such as The New York Times Magazine writer and Fleishman Is in Trouble author Taffy Brodesser-Akner, along with Queer Eye star Karamo Brown.

The same report notes that Plepler is also talking to Josh Tyrangiel, the former head of Vice News, about producing documentary content for his company.

Apple TV+ features diverse shows

So far, Apple TV+ has featured a broad range of programming. Shows like Servant, Dickinson, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, The Morning Show, See and For All Mankind all cover very different genre bases. However, there has been a definite push to promote inclusive, diverse, socially conscious programming. Little America focuses on the plight of immigrants in the United States. Visible: Out on Television is an LGBT docuseries looking at screen representation.

Apple TV+ isn’t the only streaming service to embrace diverse programming focused on social issues. Shows like Amazon’s Transparent and Netflix’s Queer Eye and Sex Education (to name just a few) prove that socially conscious programming can yield massive hits.

Eden Productions has yet to formally announce any of the shows it will make for Apple TV+. During Plepler’s tenure at HBO, the network won more than 160 Emmy awards. Some of the shows he helped bring to the screen include Game of Thrones, Veep and Big Little Lies.