Major production and distribution companies Keshet Studios, FremantleMedia and Red Arrow Studios International all have projects currently in development with Apple.

But they can’t really talk about them yet. And it’s still unclear what that actually means in light of the company’s commitment to spending as much as $1 billion on original programming in 2018 —not to mention other emerging platforms such as Facebook Watch.

“It’s just all so new right now. We can’t really understand the impacts it will have on the rest of the industry,” Lisa Fahrenholt, vice president, international development, scripted, Endemol Shine North America, said Friday at the Drama Summit West 2018 conference in Los Angeles.

But there’s no denying that impact is there.

“All it takes is one defining show, and suddenly they have a presence and identity that doesn’t exist right now,” said Dante Di Loreto, president of scripted programming, FremantleMedia.

He said It’s been interesting working with a company that’s in the process of defining their vision when it comes to television.

“What’s fascinating, when you think about it, is we’re sitting here talking about a platform that we don’t even know what it looks like,” Di Loreto said.

But whatever format it takes, producing shows through a service such as Apple offers certain benefits, said Henrik Pabst, president, Red Arrow Studios International.

“They have the ability to do direct-to-series, whereas in broadcast that’s much more rare,” he said.

And while the company so far has offered a lot of creative freedom, “it will be interesting to see what the limitations are with Apple in terms of content,” said Peter Traugott, president of Keshet Studios. “They have an important brand to protect.”

Traugott said Keshet didn’t target Apple per se when developing a “South American story with a global impact.” Rather, the team was in the process of figuring out the best way to turn the project into a series.

“Apple fell in love with the way we were looking at it,” he said.

Di Loreto said when it comes to future projects at FremantleMedia, Apple is a place that can support a premium drama.

“I think the things that excite me are about what’s not on television right now,” Di Loreto said. “And I think part of that is what Apple is focusing on right now.”

[Image courtesy of]

Tags: drama summit west 2018

  Save as PDF