'Dickinson' Creator Inks Overall Deal at Apple

Alena Smith - APPLE Publicity -H 2020
Courtesy of Apple

Dickinson creator and showrunner Alena Smith is strengthening her ties with Apple.

Smith has signed a multiyear overall deal with the tech giant, under which she will create new projects exclusively for the Apple TV+ streaming platform. The news comes on the same day that Dickinson was nominated for a Peabody Award.

Dickinson, a coming-of-age dramedy centered on 19th century poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) — but featuring modern dialogue and music — premiered on the Nov. 1 launch day for Apple TV+. It has been renewed for a second season, along with most of the streamer's other early offerings.

Smith told The Hollywood Reporter in November that season two of the series will focus on Emily's ambivalent relationship to fame as she gains renown as a poet. 

"Season two is really all about fame and the attention economy, which was a central concern in Emily Dickinson's poems," said Smith. "She wrote many, many poems about fame and about running from fame or rejecting fame. But she definitely had an obsession about fame even if she was subverting it."

Prior to Dickinson, Smith worked on HBO's The Newsroom and Showtime's The Affair. She's also a playwright whose published works include Icebergs, The Bad Guys (which she also adapted for a feature film), Plucker, The Lacy Project and The New Sincerity

Smith joins a roster of creatives with overall deals at Apple that includes The Morning Show's Kerry Ehrin, Alfonso Cuarón, Jason Katims, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Justin Lin, Little America showrunner Lee Eisenberg, Annie Weisman, Monica Beletsky, Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Horgan and Simon Kinberg.