Sci-tech

Apple scores Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon TV series

Apple scores Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon TV series

Witherspoon, Aniston and Michael Ellenberg, a former HBO executive whose company is producing the show, shopped it around starting in the summer, and Apple won the rights to it. Aniston's and Witherspoon's respective production companies will have ownership in the series as well, giving the duo a bigger stake in the project. The show will reportedly center on a morning TV talk show though it remains unclear if it will be a comedy or a drama. Apple has given the go-ahead to a two-season order, 20 episodes in total. Witherspoon and Aniston will both star in and executive-produce the untitled project.

Brian Stelter's book Top of the Morning had been optioned to provide additional background material, and Stelter will serve as a consultant on the series. At the time it outbid several premium cable outlets for the show, which had big-name director David Fincher and a previously TV-averse star in (not-yet-disgraced) Kevin Spacey. It is one of the first two original scripted series at Apple, along with Amazing Stories, a reimagining the anthology from Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller, which has closed a deal for a straight-to-series order. A lot of its competitors in the technology industry, led by Amazon, have been making incursions into Hollywood in recent years, and Apple, with cash on hand in the hundreds of billions, can certainly afford to make a run at becoming a huge Hollywood player, and reports earlier this year said the company was putting $1 billion into original content. Variety's Maureen Ryan wrote that it "feels like something that was developed at a cocktail party".

Apple already took a step into TV this year when it created "Planet of the Apps" and a spinoff of James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" bit. According toThe Hollywood Reporter, the tech giant's second scripted series buy is a drama starring A-listers Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon as morning show anchors.