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A staple of HBO’s comedy brand is headed to Apple.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, fresh off seven seasons of HBO stalwart Veep, has signed a sweeping overall deal with the tech giant and streaming platform.
Under the multiple-year agreement, the Emmy-winning actress will develop new projects exclusively for Apple — as both an executive producer and star. Sources say the actress and producer met with multiple outlets, including her former home at HBO. The news should be seen as a big “get” for Apple video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, not so much that they landed Louis-Dreyfus the producer, but that they landed Louis-Dreyfus the star. Her last three comedy vehicles — New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld and Veep — have proved massive hits, earning her eight acting Emmys.
The deal, financial terms of which were not immediately available, is Louis-Dreyfus’ first such overall and reunites her at the same company with former Richard Plepler mere days after the former HBO CEO’s producing deal became official. Plepler greenlit Veep during his 27-year regime running the premium cable network. The former exec has a stellar reputation and has deep relationships with both talent and showrunners and his arrival at Apple is at least expected to help deepen those of former studio chiefs Van Amburg and Erlicht, who, it’s worth noting, have not struggled to lure both to their TV+ platform. Sources say negotiations with Louis-Dreyfus were already underway with Apple amid Plepler’s talks with the tech giant, though he is said to have phoned her just before hers closed.
“I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods.”
Louis-Dreyfus has broken awards season records with multiple Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice Awards for her work on era-defining mega-hits like Veep and Seinfeld as well as The New Adventures of Old Christine. Next up, she will star in Fox Searchlight’s Downhill, which she also produces. She’s repped by CAA and ID.
While financial terms were not immediately available, the overall arrives months after Netflix shelled out $500 million for global rights to Seinfeld in a move that illustrates the value of the cast, including Louis-Dreyfus.
She joins a rapidly growing roster of producers with overalls at Apple including Alfonso Cuarón, Kerry Ehrin, Jon M. Chu, Justin Lin, Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg, as well as A24 and Imagine Documentaries.
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Robert De Niro