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Photo: Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tech companies that don't have storytelling at their core are recruiting their way into the future of television, poaching high-end names from TV networks or household names that they know will lure viewers.

The latest: Netflix announced Monday after months of speculation that Barack and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix.

  • Netflix, in the past year, has hired Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes from ABC, and Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy from FX.
  • Amazon announced Monday that it has hired NBC vet Vernon Sanders as co-head of television at Amazon Studios. He joins top TV exec Jennifer Salke, creator of hits like This Is Us, who was hired in February to run Amazon's in-house film and television studio in April. Amazon also hired “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman from AMC last year.
  • Apple poached Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two executives who oversaw productions such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown,” from Sony Pictures Television last year. "We don't know anything about making television. We don’t really know how to create shows. We were cognizant of that," Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue told CNN's Dylan Byers in March.

The big picture: Most big tech companies have the scale to buy content companies, but have shied away from acquisitions of TV networks and have instead opted to invest in either talent or franchises.

People are trying to pull out the parts of the body without having to buy the whole body.
Ross Gerber, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

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