In search of a ‘Breaking Bad’-like hit, Apple may pick up a ‘violent’ TV drama from Israel

Yoni Heisler

Though it’s no secret that Apple has grand plans to make a splash in the TV space, there have been rumors, purportedly sourced from people within Apple and the entertainment industry at large, that Apple’s TV strategy lacks significant direction. Even more troubling are reports that Apple, at the behest of Tim Cook, is aiming for a PG-13 style lineup of original programming. If you recall, Tim Cook reportedly axed a Dr. Dre inspired drama titled “Vital Signs” on account of scenes dealing with drugs, sex, and violence.

Cook’s decision in this regard, if true, was dumbfounding for a few reasons. For starters, the iTunes Store is filled to the brim with movies and TV shows that tend to focus on offending topics like drugs and violence. Further, there’s simply no way Apple can compete with the likes of Netflix if everything it churns out is of the PG-13 mold. If anything, Netflix works precisely because it has a variety of shows across a multitude of genres, from cartoons and teen dramas to drug-fueled dramas.


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The good news is that Apple may finally be seeing the light. According to a report from CNBC, Apple is currently interested in snatching up a “violent” television series from Israel that might see Richard Gere take on the leading role. The show in question is called “Nevelot”, which translates to “Bastards.” As for the show itself, well, it seems like it’s anything but family friendly, with CNBC noting that the plot “involves two military veterans who go on a youth-focused killing spree because they believe today’s kids don’t understand the sacrifices of their generation.”

Interestingly, Apple seems to be working in overdrive to convince the entertainment industry that it’s open to more mature-style content.

Apple’s heads of programming, Zach Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who started in June, have been working overtime to dispel the myth that Apple is interested only in family-friendly material.

Van Amburg and Erlicht, who were previously presidents of Sony Pictures Television, are highly respected in the entertainment industry. One of their biggest successes was bringing “Breaking Bad” and its showrunner Vince Gilligan to Sony.

The duo has made it very clear they are now looking for Apple’s version of the series…

All in all, this is encouraging news and signals that perhaps Apple’s TV strategy isn’t the bumbling mess we all thought it was.

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