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Apple’s new TV project with ‘La La Land’ creator proves that it’s dead serious about competing with Netflix and HBO

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With a reported $1 billion at its discretion to develop and acquire original content, Apple’s TV chiefs —  Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht — have been making a number of high-profile and intriguing moves over the past few months.  Most recently, Apple managed to secure an original series from acclaimed La La Land writer and director Damien Chazelle.

Originally reported by The New York Times, Chazelle’s new vehicle at Apple is said to be a drama. While specific details about the series remain scarce, word is that Chzaelle is on board to write and direct every single episode.

“For the mysterious new assignment,” the Times notes, “Mr. Chazelle will reunite with the producers Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger, both of whom worked on ‘La La Land.’ MRC, which produced ‘House of Cards,’ is the studio behind the show.”

Without question, Apple landing a new series from Chazelle is a huge score for the company’s somewhat fledgling TV streaming division, especially as it seeks to compete more ably with established services like Netflix and HBO. In addition to being the mastermind behind La La Land, Chazelle was also the creative genius behind Whiplash, the 2014 film about an overbearing jazz instructor that saw J.K. Simmons win an award for Best Supporting Actor.

Slowly but surely, Apple seems to be building up an impressive stable of original content with some big Hollywood stars attached to a number of projects. Aside from the aforementioned series, Apple last week inked a deal with Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig for a new comedy series. Before that, Apple managed to strike a deal with Steven Spielberg to bring back the award-winning 80s show Amazing Stories.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.