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Apple orders Emily Dickinson comedy with Hailee Steinfeld

Apple gets ready to laugh along with the "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" poet.

Hailee Steinfeld takes on the role of famous poet Emily Dickinson.
Meredith Truax

When you think of Emily Dickinson, you probably think of the figurative poetry she wrote during her reclusive life in the 1800s. Apple, however, thinks of laughs.

Apple put in a straight-to-series order for Dickinson, a half-hour coming-of-age comedy set in the famous poet's era, but "with a modern sensibility and tone." It stars Oscar-nominated actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit.  

Apple says the show will audaciously explore "the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn't fit in to her own time."

Dickinson's poetry is often studied in school and is surprisingly lively considering her isolated lifestyle in Massachusetts. Her writing style was unconventional for the time and should give the showrunners plenty of inspiration.

Dickinson is the latest acquisition in Apple's expanding slate of original television shows, though it's still unclear how viewers will access them. In January, Apple ordered a comedy series starring Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids). The company also has a deal in place with director Steven Spielberg for a reboot of the '80s horror anthology show Amazing Stories

This is all part of Apple's reported $1 billion plan for original television programming that puts it in competition with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.