Not to be completely outpaced by the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, Apple has come to an agreement with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and NBCUniversal to revive the famed director’s anthology series Amazing Stories. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that ten episodes of the fantasy, sci-fi and horror anthology series will be produced as part of the deal, with a budget of more than $5 million per episode.
As the Journal points out, this is the first show Apple has greenlit since former Sony TV executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht were hired in June. They were given a budget of around $1 billion for original programming, and it appears that they went straight to one of the biggest names in entertainment to kick off their tenure.
“We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming, and can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved Amazing Stories franchise,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. As for Spielberg’s role, sources say that he will likely serve as an executive producer, but nothing has been confirmed.
Amazing Stories ran for two seasons from 1985 to 1987 on NBC, and despite winning 12 Emmys, it was eventually canceled due to low ratings. The show was supposed to be a modern version of The Twilight Zone and shows of its ilk, with a new director helming each episode. Some of the directors that worked on the show’s original run included Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Brad Bird and Spielberg himself.
What is still unclear is how Apple will distribute the show to an audience. While Apple has begun its rollout of original programming on the Apple Music service with shows like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, it’s either going to need to rebuild and rebrand Apple Music once it begins regularly releasing original content like Amazing Stories, or it needs to debut a new service specifically for content like this.