Apple could be about to enter movie business with animated feature

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Cartoon Saloon
A shot from Cartoon Saloon's "The Breadwinner."
Photo: Cartoon Saloon

Apple is reportedly negotiating with Cartoon Saloon, an Irish Oscar-nominated animation studio, for the distribution rights for what would be Apple’s first animated feature film.

A deal is supposedly close to being reached, although there are scant details beyond this. Cartoon Saloon has previously produced three Academy Award-nominated animations including Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea. Its preschool series, Puffin Rock can be found on Netflix, and is also popular in China.

Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul signs on for Apple TV series

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Aaron Paul
Jesse Pinkman is coming to Apple TV. Well, kind of.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia CC

Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul has signed on to act in Apple’s upcoming Are You Sleeping? drama series.

Paul will join previously announced cast members Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan. Other newly signed cast members will include This Is Us and Luke Cage actor Ron Cephas Jones, Weeds actress Elizabeth Perkins, ER actress Mekhi Phifer, Sons of Anarchy‘s Michael Beach, and others.

Apple adds another talented exec to its growing Worldwide Video team

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apple tv
Apple's TV plans are coming together.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple still has yet to debut any of its new crop of original drama shows, but in the meantime it is continuing to stock its Worldwide Video team with talented execs.

The latest hiring is former Viacom and Broadway Video (the media company led by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels) vice president Kelly Costello. She joins Apple as its new video-related business affairs executive.

Netflix calls itself the ‘anti-Apple’ at its own peril

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Netflix iPhone
Netflix previews will help you hunt down the perfect show.
Photo: Netflix

As the current king of the streaming video world, Netflix knows it’s got a target on its back — and it’s certainly sweating because Apple wants to steal its crown. So Netflix is using a tactic once employed by Apple, positioning itself as a scrappy, nimble upstart able to easily outflank its deep-pocketed adversaries.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even called his company “the anti-Apple” this weekend, painting Cupertino as a secretive company limited in its operational speed by obsessive top-down control.

That’s a misreading of the situation, and a serious strategic mistake. In fact, if Netflix misplays its cards, it could find itself Sherlocked.

Apple’s Worldwide Video team has a new exec to oversee comedy series

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Kristen Wiig slayed us in Bridesmaids.
Kristen Wiig made us laugh in Bridesmaids.
Photo: Universal Pictures

Apple has hired Dana Tuinier, a former creative executive for the Paramount Network and Fox, to help develop original comedy shows for its Worldwide Video unit.

Tuinier will be reporting to Apple’s head of development Matt Cherniss. Among her first jobs will be working on Apple’s recently acquired comedy series, starring Kristen Wiig. The series is inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” and will consist of 10 half-hour episodes.

Apple’s original video team adds another TV veteran

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Michelle Lee 1
Michelle Lee is another highly qualified hire for Apple's growing TV division.
Photo: Apple

Apple has hired another high level scripted television veteran as part of its Apple Worldwide Video initiative.

Michelle Lee has been named a creative executive at Apple Worldwide Video. In her previous role at the Universal Television-based True Jack Productions, she developed and executive produced multiple series, including the upcoming Rise for NBC, The Path for Hulu, About a Boy for NBC, and Pure Genius for CBS.