Former HBO boss Richard Plepler signs deal to create shows for Apple TV+

Apple continues to invest in its fledgling TV+ service after bringing in former HBO boss Richard Plepler on a five-year deal as it looks to produce its first breakout hit for the platform.

Apple launched the subscription service in November last year, but many of the new shows have received a lukewarm reception from critics, and it is yet to release a series that truly resonates with mainstream audiences or punches through the entertainment zeitgeist.

Apple is now hedging its bets on Plepler, who was the mastermind behind HBO’s huge success during the television network’s golden age, which saw The Sopranos and Game of Thrones among others enthral audiences over multiple seasons.

Plepler stepped down from his role as CEO at HBO last year following a successful 27-year stint after reportedly falling out with AT&T about the future plans for the network.

Apple is hoping that Plepler can now bring some of the magic to its new service as it targets the production of prestige TV that will put it in line with other big streaming platforms, including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

60-year-old Plepler has signed a five-year exclusive deal with Apple and will use his own production company, Eden Productions, to come up with a variety of original series, films and documentaries.

“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,” Plepler said in a statement on Thursday.

While Apple wants to improve its TV+ service, it doesn’t need to deliver content at huge scale like HBO or Netflix as it remains a tech company primarily with the iPhone its core product, though services are becoming more of a priority.

Apple is still offering a free TV+ subscription for a year for customers who buy a new Apple device.

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