Apple has recently announced that it will finally be taking on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with a new streaming channel called Apple TV Plus. Unlike these other services, Apple TV Plus won’t be granting access to a back catalogue of licenced shows and movies, which you can get using other Apple apps. It will exclusively show Apple original content.
While it is still unclear when the service will be available and how much it will cost, it is clear that Apple has been investing heavily in developing their programming. Their strategy appears to be to recruit stars and well-established names in the business to create new programmes that Apple knows viewers won’t be able to resist. Who can resist the latest from Steven Spielberg of J.J. Abrams featuring quality actors such as Jason Momoa, Joel Kinnaman, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Oh, and they have Oprah on board.
Here are 10 of the programmes that Apple has teased for the upcoming launch of Apple TV Plus that we are most excited to see.
Led by Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, this programme promises to be nothing short of, well, amazing. With this new programme Spielberg is actually revisting a show that he made for NBC back in the 1980s based on the same premise. The anthology programme will share stories published in the Amazing Stories magazine, which was launched in the US in 1926 and has pretty much been in publication for the 93 years since. It has features stories from the likes of John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov and Roger Zelazny. As each story is stand alone, Spielberg was able to recruit different headline actors for each episode. No doubt he will do the same. With modern special effects, this Spielberg will be able to achieve what he only dreamed when he first brought this idea to air.
Focussed on the life of Emily Dickinson, the famous female American poet that lived in the mid-19th century, it is set to star Hailee Steinfeld as the headline character, and feature the always excellent Jane Krakowski. It plans to explore the constraints of society, gender and family that existed at the time from the perspective of the progressive author. It will be Emily’s coming of age story. Promoted as a comedy with heart, I’ll be surprised if we don’t see Steinfeld and and Krakowski share their vocal talents at some point.
For All Mankind
Ronald D. Moore will work with Matt Wolpert, Ben Nedivi and Apple to bring this science-fiction show to life. The premise of the programme is that the global space race never ended, and mankind is now on its way to the stars, but this is no Star Trek in which the world has been united in peace and harmony. The race is still on. The show is set to star the talented Joel Kinnaman (of Altered Carbon Netflix fame) and Michal Dorman.
Foundation will be based on Isaac Asimov’s book series of the same name and produced by Skydance Television for Apple. The books are a thousand year saga that focuses on a band of exiles that discover that the only way that they can save their world from destruction is to defy its Galactic Empire. In terms of epic scale, this could be Apple’s answer to Game of Thrones (which is sadly coming to an end imminently), but the author has already completed the books.
This will be another anthology series, but will focus on the lives of immigrants living in the US. It will be brought to us by the writers of Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. The show will be based on true stories and is sure to pull on the heartstrings. The writers have already revealed that one storyline will follow a 10-year-old Indian boy who ran his parents’ hotel in Ohio after they were deported.
Apple’s all-star line up would not be complete without something from J.J. Abrams. He is partnering up with singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and the Jessie Nelson, who wrote I am Sam among other things. It will be a dramedy that focusses on people who find their voice through music. Naturally it will be set in New York City, and just like with I am Sam, the soundtrack will be an important character in its own right, which Bareilles will write and sing. It is set to feature less action that we are accustomed to from Abrams (who directed Star Trek and Alias), but who knows.
The Morning Show
Sadly not actually a morning show, since if it was I’m sure I would tune in daily. This is a comedy about the drama that goes on behind the scenes of these popular daily shows. With the star power of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell, it is sure to draw an audience. It will be loosely based on the book by CNN reporter Brian Stelter Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
Oprah’s Book Club
The popular project and segment from Oprah’s show will get become is own show on Apple TV Plus. Oprah herself explained that her goal was to build the biggest, most vibrant, most stimulating book club on the planet. No doubt it will be easy to purchase the featured books as ebooks or audiobooks via Apple’s other apps.
This new science-fiction series from Steven Knight will have Jason Momoa in the lead. It is set in a future world where a virus decimates the human population, leaving only a few million alive, and all blind. The series takes place a few centuries later when this is the new normal, and people begin to doubt that the legend of sight is even true. No doubt partially inspired by Momoa’s very nice eyes as Aquaman.
A second offering from Oprah Winfrey on Apple’s list – not that anyone is complaining as can you really have enough Oprah? This will be a documentary series about discrimination in the workforce and the hidden forces that lead good people to create toxic work environments.