Apple TV+ courts Richard Plepler, the HBO exec who championed Game of Thrones


Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service, launched yesterday to followers so looking forward to its content material everybody was having connection issues. About every week earlier than that, Apple launched its personal streaming service, Apple TV+, to much less fanfare. Although its unique reveals have been getting middling opinions, however Apple is decided to make this work. And with billions of {dollars} within the struggle chest — that is Apple we’re speaking about — they’ve the sources to maintain combating for the highest spot so long as they need.

And they’re seeking to rent some top-tier expertise to assist them try this. Deadline studies that Apple is figuring out a improvement cope with Richard Plepler, a former HBO govt who was instrumental in bringing reveals like True BloodBoardwalk Empire, The Newsroom and Game of Thrones to the display. He was the man who noticed one thing within the present and let showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss reshoot the legendarily disastrous pilot episode, and the remaining is TV historical past.

Plepler was with HBO in some kind or one other for 25 years, turned co-president in 2007 and CEO in 2012. He had an enormous hand in turning HBO into the powerhouse community it’s right now. And but, he left earlier this 12 months. Why? It might have one thing to do with AT&T shopping for HBO’s mother or father firm and consolidating it into a brand new group known as WarnerMedia. When something involving Plepler comes up, I’m all the time reminded of a 2018 city corridor assembly the place AT&T exec John Stankey advised 150-odd HBO staff his imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the community. “We need hours a day,” he mentioned. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”

Then there was this awkward on-stage interplay between Plepler and Stankey:

Stankey: “[W]e’ve got to make money at the end of the day, right?”

Plepler: “We do that.”

Stankey: “Yes, you do. Just not enough.”

Half a 12 months later, Plepler was gone. “Hard as it is to think about leaving the company I love, and the people I love in it, it is the right time for me to do so,” he wrote. “So many of you, and many others before us, have made HBO a cultural and business phenomenon.”

I feel Plepler left as a result of he was uncomfortable with AT&T’s concentrate on amount of content material. But his extra boutique imaginative and prescient of leisure might need a spot at Apple, which is raring to say some territory within the streaming wars. Everyone is on the lookout for “the following Game of Thrones.” Wouldn’t it’s a visit if Plepler discovered it for Apple, utilizing his patented easy-does-it strategy the company overlords at his outdated community now not discovered palatable?

Next: Emilia Clarke finds the Game of Thrones backlash “profoundly flattering”

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