Apple is teaming up with no less than the likes of Steven Spielberg for its first major push into TV programming. The iPhone maker is bringing back Spielberg's 30-year-old anthology series Amazing Stories in its attempt to build an online video subscription service to challenge those of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO, the AP reports. "We love being at the forefront of Apple's investment in scripted programming, and can't think of a better property than Spielberg's beloved Amazing Stories franchise," NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said in a statement Tuesday. NBC Entertainment works with Spielberg's Amblin Television on the series. Apple declined to comment on the deal. The series aired on NBC from 1985 to 1987 and won five Emmy awards for its mixture of science fiction and horror episodes, although the series was never a big ratings hit.
Apple is planning to spend about $1 billion on original programming during the next year in an effort to bring in more revenue to its rapidly growing services division. The company already offers two video series through its Apple Music streaming service, Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, but neither has created much buzz. The original Amazing Stories run attracted guest appearances from Kevin Costner, Harvey Keitel, Charlie Sheen, Mark Hamill, and John Lithgow, and directors and writers including Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, and Brad Bird. (Netflix has hiked the prices of its two most popular plans in an effort to raise more money to spend on future programming; it's pouring $6 billion into its lineup this year.)