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Apple, Canal+ to make Calls

Apple has ordered a 10-episode English-language adaptation of a French shortform drama for its forthcoming video platform.

Calls was created by Timothée Hochet for French pay TV broadcaster Canal+ and Apple has acquired the rights to the first season of the original as part of the deal.

The English version, to be coproduced by Canal+, will be the tech giant’s first international copro as it continues to expand its content slate.

The show features a series of audio phone calls with minimal visuals on screen.

Apple has pledged to invest more than US$1bn in programming for its new platform and late last year hired Amazon Studios’ head of children’s programming Tara Sorensen to oversee its kids’ content.

The company’s recent commissions include a half-hour anthology series exploring immigration in the US, a drama based on the real-life story of a pre-teen news reporter and an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ bestselling novel Shantaram.

It has also ordered shows including Are You Sleeping from Reese Witherspoon’s prodco Hello Sunshine and Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg, while it recently agreed a multi-year partnership with Oprah Winfrey as it taps into high-profile entertainment talent.

Apple also hired development exec Layne Eskridge from rival streamer Netflix last week as it continues to build its global video team.

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