Hollywood reboots are nothing new these days. In fact, they’re so common that even a reboot of an oddball cult-classic barely turns heads (Twin Peaks shows that formula can succeed, right?). And anything from the back catalogue of an iconic creator like Steven Spielberg may be continually ripe for revisiting. Just this summer, Amblin Entertainment confirmed Spielberg’s involvement with a new Animaniacs series, for instance.
So at first blush, Deadline detailing today that Spielberg’s Amazing Stories (an anthology series that aired on NBC in the mid-’80s) is being explored for modern audiences seems ho-hum. But it’s not NBC (which has an existing partnership with Amblin) or streaming contenders like Netflix and Amazon reportedly close to a deal—it’s Apple.
“We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming,” NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke told the site. “And I can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved Amazing Stories franchise.”
Apple started quietly turning heads in original content circles this summer. In June, the tech company hired executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony to fill newly created positions that oversee “all aspects of video programming.” In August, ahead of its fall hardware event, Apple told The Wall Street Journal it would devote up to $1 billion toward original programming for 2018 and produce as many as 10 new shows. With fellow tech companies like Facebook entering this space, the original content landscape looks primed for change in the near future.
Whether or not these new players will attract an audience will likely depend on content, not distribution mechanism. Apple has already started these initiatives to some degree. Its Carpool Karaoke spin-off series debuted this fall, and Cupertino unveiled an app development competition series (called Planet of the Apps) at WWDC this summer. But having a Spielberg-associated project with respected industry pros like Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) attached represents a different level of ambition.
Deadline only said negotiations are “zeroing in,” but the site had confirmation quotes from NBC and details, such as Fuller’s involvement, to indicate the deal is all but done. Details on when Amazing Stories would come to fruition or how it would be released were not available.
Listing image by NBC / Amblin