Hollywood is surely confused with Apple right now. Cupertino has been showing signs of dabbling in original TV content, but without any one person at the helm of those efforts. That might be changing, as Apple appears to be seeking out a programming chief to lead its original video production. According to folks talking to The Information, it’s possible that programming chief could be none other than former HBO president Michael Lombardo.
Apple's Original TV Content Has a Confusing Leadership Structure
As things stand right now, Cupertino’s original TV content production seems to be led by two people. Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, has been speaking out about the tech giant’s use of original television programs to promote Apple Music. At the same time, Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine has been blazing trails and raising eyebrows by making his own moves on Cupertino’s behalf.
It’s all very confusing, and all that Hollywood can tell for certain is that Apple is working on expanding its repertoire to include original TV content. So far, Cupertino has several original programs in the works, including “Carpool Karaoke,” “Planet of the Apps,” and “Vital Signs.” Without any single person at the helm of original video content, things could get messy, though.
A Meeting With Michael Lombardo
Earlier in 2017, Apple is said to have met with former HBO president Michael Lombardo. The meeting was to “discuss Apple’s video programming strategy,” but what exactly does that mean? Lombardo left HBO in 2016 to become a producer, but is it possible the former executive would team up with Cupertino to achieve the more active creative role he’s looking for?
Right now, Lombardo is producing a 10-episode drama for HBO based around the tragic events involving the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014. What Lombardo will do once that wraps up, though, is pretty much up in the air. If he wants a more active role in creating original TV content, joining Apple as its video programming chief could certainly achieve that.
It’s Probably About Time for Apple to Get Serious or Give up
Apple’s television efforts haven’t panned out so well in the past. Negotiation difficulties have forced the company to abandon projects, and even the current work on “Carpool Karaoke” seems to have hit some roadblocks and the series is delayed from launch. Given those troubles, Cupertino really needs to show that it is serious about delving into original video. Hiring a programming chief to be a single point of leadership for such efforts would definitely help, and would lead Hollywood to take the company more seriously.
Then again, since when has Apple done things the normal way? Apple CEO Tim Cook might be perfectly happy with the direction things are moving in. I believe, however, that Cupertino will be hiring someone soon to lead its original video creation, and Michael Lombardo would be an almost perfect fit for the role.