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Apple signs content production deal with Oprah

Apple and Oprah Winfrey have
joined forces in a multiyear content deal, the company has announced.

It is the
latest high-profile producing partnership for the technology behemoth, which is
currently developing TV series with writers and actors including Reese
Witherspoon, Kristen Wiig and M. Night Shyamalan as it ramps up its plans to create
and distribute original content.

It is also
the latest salvo in a talent arms race among streaming services. In the last
year, Netflix has announced deals with the major producers 
Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, and with Barack and Michelle Obama, who will produce shows and
films for the service. Amazon recently signed film and TV deals with 
Jordan Peele and Nicole Kidman.

In a news release, Apple said Ms. Winfrey would “create original
programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around
the world.” It did not offer any specifics about what type of programming she
would create, or the terms of the deal.

Apple, which is building a 128,000 square foot headquarters for its
entertainment division in Culver City, Calif., has said it was investing $1 billion into original programming.
Its first show, last year’s “Planet of the Apps,” was a flop. But since then,
the company has courted big name producers with the allure of high budgets and
a respected brand.

For Ms. Winfrey, Apple presents an opportunity to expand her
empire. She, of course, has many projects, including overseeing her cable
channel, the
Oprah Winfrey Network
, and being a contributor to “CBS Sunday
Morning” (in addition to fending off persistent rumors about running for
president in 2020). This week, Ms. Winfrey announced that she would be hosting
a three-day “Girls’ Getaway” cruise in 2019 with her longtime friend Gayle King
on a Holland America ship.
New York Times.

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