Richard Plepler’s exclusive production deal with Apple TV+ has been confirmed, with the former HBO CEO set to make original series, features and documentaries for the tech giant’s SVOD service through his new Eden Productions company.
Neither Apple nor Plepler provided further details of the deal, but according to a report in The New York Times the arrangement with New York-based Eden runs for five years.
In a statement, Plepler referred to the track record of Apple TV heads and former Sony Pictures Television executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht: “I’m excited to work with Zack, Jamie and the standout team at Apple who have been deeply supportive of my vision for Eden from day one. The shows that Zack and Jamie produced, The Crown and Breaking Bad, are among those I most admired. Apple is one of the most creative companies in the world, and the perfect home for my new production company and next chapter.”
In the Times report, Plepler is quoted as saying he did not want to “duplicate” his time at HBO but felt that Apple “was the right idea very quickly, just because it was embryonic enough that I thought maybe…I could make a little contribution there.”
Talks between Plepler and Apple, which launched its streaming service on November 1 with a slate of big budget original series including The Morning Show, Dickinson, For All Mankind and See, were first reported six weeks ago.
A highly regarded figure in the prestige TV business, Plepler ended his nearly 30-year run at HBO in February during a shake-up of WarnerMedia’s TV network operations under new owner AT&T. His departure came just before the appointment of former NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt to a new post overseeing HBO, the upcoming HBO Max streaming service, and other assets.
As co-president of HBO from 2007 to 2012 and CEO from 2012, Plepler gave greenlights to some of the network’s most successful series, including Game Of Thrones, Girls, Veep and Boardwalk Empire. He also shepherded British action series Strike Back, the first primetime original for HBO’s sister network Cinemax, co-produced (after its first season) by the US outlet with Sky.