Apple, HBO bidding for new sci-fi show from J.J. Abrams

According to Variety, J.J. Abrams — co-creator of the Lost, Alias, Felicity, and Fringe series — has written a new sci-fi drama television show that’s the subject of a bidding war between Apple and HBO. The series would reportedly deal with a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force. 

Should the project move forward, it would be Abrams’ first TV writing gig since Fringe in 2008. Abrams would also executive produce, with Ben Stephenson–head of television for Bad Robot Productions–also serving as an executive producer. Warner Bros. Television would produce. 

While Apple and HBO are the top contenders for the project, Warner Bros. is said to be open to other bidders, notes Variety. If Apple lands it, it will be the company’s fifth scripted show.

In December Apple gave a straight-to-series order to a space drama from Ronald D. Moore, the developer of the second, acclaimed Battlestar Galactica TV series. Earlier this month, it was announced that the Cupertino, California-based coma is developing a new original drama series entitled Are You Sleeping, starring Octavia Spencer. 

Another is a morning show drama series project, executive produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Still another is Amazing Stories, a reimagining of the anthology series from Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller.

Apple recently formed an entertainment division headed by former Sony TV presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. The company has set a budget of roughly $1 billion to procure and produce original content over the next year, according to the Wall Street Journal, and could acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows. The $1 billion budget will be in the hands of Hollywood veterans Erlicht and Amburg.