Previous, 1:24 p.m.: Apple has yet to launch a scripted series, but it has parted ways with its first showrunner.
Bryan Fuller, who was poised to helm Apple’s Amazing Stories anthology, has exited the project citing creative differences. The split is said to be amicable. Fuller, who originally developed Amazing Stories for NBC before it moved to Apple with a series pickup, is said to have wanted to do a Black Mirror-type show, which sources say was not something the iPhone maker had in mind.
Fuller was first attached to Amazing Stories in October 2015, when the individual episodic anthology was set up at NBC. (The series originally ran for two seasons in the ’80s on the broadcast network, when it explored strange, fantastic and supernatural stories.) Fuller was set to pen the original script for Universal Television — who produced the original series — and Amblin Television’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Steven Spielberg, who created the original series, was not involved at the time.
The drama moved to Apple last year, with Spielberg boarding the 10-episode project in a content deal with the deep-pocketed tech giant. Fuller was set to serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside Spielberg, Frank, Falvey and Hart Hanson (Bones).
The news of the showrunner’s Amazing Stories departure comes after Fuller and Michael Green were fired from Starz drama American Gods following a budget dispute with producers Fremantle, who wanted to produce the high-concept series on a reduced per-episode fee. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters this month that the duo will still be involved, though sources stress both Fuller and Green will have no role at all on season two. Jesse Alexander, who worked with Fuller on Star Trek: Discovery and Hannibal, will take over as showrunner and will work alongside Neil Gaiman on season two of American Gods.
Fuller’s dismissal from American Gods came after he was asked in October 2016 to step down from CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery after what he said were issues with producer CBS Television Studios over the show’s budget, casting and more. (He left Star Trek: Discovery to focus on American Gods, which also had behind-the-scenes struggles with scripts ahead of its series debut on Starz.)
Apple, meanwhile, continues to spend on scripted originals as the company is said to be working with a $1 billion budget. Its scripted roster includes a morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston; a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore; Stephen DeKnight futuristic drama See; and a comedy starring Kristen Wiig. What remains to be determined, however, is just how Apple will launch its scripted programming.
Fuller is now working with Paramount Television to adapt Anne Rice’s beloved Vampire Chronicles.