Bryan Fuller has stepped down as showrunner for Apple’s science fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Fuller, the creator of Pushing Daisies and Hannibal, began developing the revival of the 1980s show in 2015 with NBC. Apple picked up the series in 2017 in its bid to create its own original content.
The Hollywood Reporter says Fuller departed the project over creative differences with Apple, which wanted a more family-friendly take than the darker Black Mirror-style show Fuller envisioned. This is a familiar story: Fuller spearheaded CBS’ revival of Star Trek, but stepped aside due to his workload on Amazing Stories and Starz’s American Gods. In November, he and Michael Green stepped down from work on American Gods, reportedly over budget issues. He’s currently developing an adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Interview with a Vampire.
Apple has reportedly invested $1 billion in original video content, which will pit it against the likes of HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, all of which have their own high-quality television dramas. The company has several other projects in the works in addition to Amazing Stories: Steven Knight’s futuristic drama See, a space show from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, and a drama about a network morning show, starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
But Fuller’s departure shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: Apple said last year that the company wouldn’t allow violence or nudity in its shows, because it wants appeal to a family audience. Fuller’s Hannibal and American Gods have been loaded with both violence and adult sexual content. The restrictions on what he could do with Amazing Stories seems to have led to some tension between Apple and its partners. The loss of the series’ high-profile showrunner on its first really big scripted drama isn’t great news for the project, or Apple’s TV ambitions. Spielberg and Fuller were big gets for Apple, which reportedly earmarked a hefty $5 million per episode for the show.