Apple recently unveiled its TV plans for the coming year, including a new Channels service aimed at cable-cutters and a broadening of its TV app to smart TVs and streaming sticks. Read our full event recap for more details on those changes.
Perhaps the most exciting announcement, however, was Apple TV+. This is an upcoming subscription service from Apple focused on original programming, which will surface in the TV app later this year alongside channels like HBO and Showtime.
Apple has yet to reveal the pricing structure for its own content, but it has reportedly spent a cool $1 billion on these shows in an attempt to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. One thing we do know, thanks to the roster of stars who spoke at Apple’s March Event, is details on seven of the flagship shows expected to launch with the service.
Let’s take a closer look.
Hollywood blockbuster behemoth Steven Spielberg is reviving this 1980s show, originally based on a beloved magazine series from the 1920s. Amazing Stories is an anthology series that mixes fantasy, science fiction, and horror, presenting a fresh story each episode. The format will allow various talents to flex their muscles, both in the director’s chair and in front of the camera.
The Morning Show
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are to star in an honest, insider’s view of the morning show format. A drama that will showcase the complex relationships between men and women both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and the inevitable power struggles that ensue. Steve Carrell co-stars, adding comedic credibility to a show which promises to feature conversations that usually would only occur behind closed doors within the industry.
Aquaman star Jason Momoa leads this new sci-fi show. Helmed by Steven Knight (creator of Peaky Blinders), See imagines a world where the earth has been devastated by a mysterious virus; the only survivors left without sight. The show starts a number of centuries after the devastation, showing how humanity has adapted without vision in a story of heroes and villains in what is sure to be an epic adventure.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani (who you may know from The Big Sick and Silicon Valley) presents an anthology series inspired by the true stories of immigrants living in America. Kumail confirmed the show will focus on “…immigrants doing everyday stuff,” in episodes set all over America from people that have emigrated from all over the world. Inspired by Kumail’s own story, the majority of the writers and directors involved are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, coming together in a showcase of talents from different cultures from around the world.
Director JJ Abrams and artist Sara Bareilles produce a show detailing the experiences of a promising yet flawed singer-songwriter. The show will follow the lead character’s first venture into the world on her own, chronicling her highs and lows in what they describe as a funny and romantic tale of a young woman’s quest to find both her artistic and personal voice.
As legend of children’s television Big Bird graced the stage, he introduced a new friend of the Sesame Workshop. Cody is a “Helpster”, a monster who loves to help. Cody’s passion to help others will involve showcasing the wonders of coding to sharpen children’s problem-solving skills and promote the vast potential of the technology. A good fit for Apple for sure.
Oprah’s headline slot at the event emphasized her insistence of combining what she has done throughout her career with the possibilities that Apple TV+ can provide. The details on her projects were a little scarce, but two documentaries covering big topics were revealed: a look at sexual harassment and assault in the work environment, and multi-part series on mental health. She’s also going to use the platform to launch Oprah’s Book Club.
One more thing…
The above shows are just a taste of the talent that Apple has secured to launch with their new service later on in the year. In addition to those who spoke at Apple’s press event, comedy giants Ben Stiller and Bill Murray are both involved in projects, as well as Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson, and many more familiar faces.
It’s not just actors in the limelight, either. The inclusion of well-known directors Spike Lee, M. Night Shyamalan, and Sofia Coppola demonstrate Apple’s desire to build a relationship with creative visionaries. These are people with their own unique style and voice, which perfectly sums up Apple’s plan to harness the “power of creativity”.