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Apple Lands ‘Seinfeld’ Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus for TV+ Service

Mark Gurman
Julia Louis-Dreyfus arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. reached a multiyear agreement with former “Seinfeld” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus to produce and star in new projects for its TV+ streaming service, adding more big-name talent to its fledgling video effort.

The actress and producer is known for her roles as Jerry Seinfeld’s best friend on the show, which ran from 1989-1998, and most recently as the lead in HBO’s “Veep.” The longtime comedian, who has won eight Emmy Awards as an actor and three as a producer, also performed on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1980s. No financial terms of the deal were released.

“I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple,” Louis-Dreyfus said in a statement the company released Friday announcing the agreement. “Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods.”

Apple has cut several similar agreements for its TV+ service, including with Oprah Winfrey and Alfonso Cuaron. The company is also working with other top Hollywood names like Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston.

Despite the deals, it’s unclear how well Apple TV+ is performing. Apple said last year the service wouldn’t immediately have an impact on its financial results, and the company hasn’t shared any data to indicate viewership or sign-ups for the $4.99-a-month subscription streaming service. An accurate assessment may not come until after Apple’s first free-year promotions for the service begin expiring.

Apple is banking on services like TV+ to boost revenue as sales growth slows for its central device, the iPhone. The company generated almost 18% of its $260 billion 2019 fiscal year revenue from services.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at abarr18@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Nick Turner

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