Apple signs former HBO chief Richard Plepler to exclusive production deal

Richard Plepler

Apple has hired former HBO chief Richard Plepler to make TV shows for the Apple TV+ streaming service in a five-year deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Plepler and his recently created production company, Eden Productions, will develop original programmes exclusively for the Apple service, which launched in November.

Plepler, who was HBO’s CEO from 2013, left the company in February last year following AT&T’s acquisition of the premium pay TV network.

He had been thought to be a potential leader for the new WarnerMedia division, made up of units including HBO, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, as well as streamer HBO Max. But tensions emerged between himself and WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, and the job was ultimately taken by Bob Greenblatt, the former NBC Entertainment chief executive.

The deal was led by Apple TV+ video chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. Plepler said he was “excited” to work with the duo and “the standout team at Apple who have been deeply supportive of my vision for Eden from day one”.

The ex-HBO executive’s deal with Apple has been expected for some time. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Plepler was close to an agreement with the tech giant.

Apple has previously struck deals with big names including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg to make content for Apple TV+.

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