Who died and made Tim Cook and Eddy Cue TV producers?

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Maybe they should let the pros do their job.


From the Wall Street Journal ($): No Sex Please, We’re Apple: iPhone Giant Seeks TV Success on Its Own Terms, by Tripp Mickle and Joe Flint.

Apple’s sensitivity [to its brand image] affects how its top Hollywood executives, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, approach their jobs. The duo, who previously shepherded “Breaking Bad” at Sony Pictures, devote considerable time to winning a nod for shows from [CEO Tim] Cook and Eddy Cue, a senior vice president who oversees services, said someone well-versed in company dynamics…

As Apple Music’s video efforts struggled, Mr. Cue charted a new course, hiring Messrs. Van Amburg and Erlicht from Sony, where they had built a reputation for creative chops and business savvy. The mandate was to build a slate of original shows.

The duo visited talent agencies last fall encouraging agents to bring them quality ideas. One agent described the message as: “Don’t edit yourselves. We’re Apple, and we’re going to take big swings.” Agents soon began to question that, as Apple started signing up series with the broad appeal of network shows and ended discussions over the grittier projects starring Mr. Fassbender and Mr. Reeves, according to people familiar with those projects.

Messrs. Van Amburg and Erlicht amended their message, saying Apple was open to anything and everything so long as there was no gratuitous violence or nudity, according to talent-agency people. One agent said some members of Apple’s team in Los Angeles began calling themselves “expensive NBC.”

My take: Ouch. Viewers looking forward to award-winning television out of Apple can only hope this story made the hand of management sound heavier than it is.

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