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HBO wins bidding war with Apple for J.J. Abrams sci-fi show 'Demimonde'

Proving limits to Apple's corporate clout, HBO has reportedly won the rights to a J.J. Abrams science fiction show called "Demimonde," which was being shopped around in script form.




Abrams already had some preference for HBO, given an existing relationship and his being impressed by the network's treatment of "Westworld," according to sources for The Hollywood Reporter. "Demimonde" revolves around a scientist's daughter, who discovers her coma-stricken mother's research and ends up in another world fighting a larger battle.

Apple has so far picked up several shows for its upcoming high-budget TV endeavors, among them a sketch comedy show with Kristen Wiig, a sci-fi show by "Battlestar Galactica" veteran Ronald Moore, and a reboot of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories."

Apple is rumored to be launching its new TV slate in 2019. Rather than demanding an Apple Music subscription, as with past shows, the company is expected to make the new material available to anyone with a compatible Apple device, possibly through the "TV" app for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV.

The company's existing TV efforts have largely fallen flat, with a mediocre reception for both "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke," despite the involvement of many high-profile celebrities. Apple's upcoming efforts are concentrated on scripted material rather than "reality" shows, though there will be at least one documentary series.