Apple TV+

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Apple TV+
Apple TV Plus Logo.svg
OpenedExpected for release in autumn of 2019
OwnerApple Inc.
PlatformsApple TV app
AvailabilitySeptember 2019
FeaturesTV shows and movies
Websiteapple.com/apple-tv-plus/

Apple TV+ (pronounced Apple TV Plus) is an upcoming over-the-top ad-free subscription video on demand web television service announced by Apple Inc. in 2019 during their March 25 Apple Special Event held at Steve Jobs Theater.[1][2] A number of major celebrities involved with Apple TV+ projects appeared on-stage for the announcement, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Jennifer Aniston.[3][4][5]

Apple TV+ content will be viewable through Apple's TV app, which is slated to become accessible to numerous consumer electronics devices, including those of Apple's competitors, during 2019.[6][7][8] Apple TV+, along with the simultaneously announced Apple TV Channels a la carte premium video subscription aggregation service, is part of the company's concerted effort to expand its service revenues by making recurring monthly charge distributed video content available widely to the public.[6][9][10]

History[edit]

In October 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook was reported as saying that television is “of intense interest to me and other people here.” He added that Apple has “started focusing on some original content” which he called “a great opportunity for us both from a creation point of view and an ownership point of view. So it’s an area we’re focused on.”[11] In June 2017, Apple began to take its first major steps in forming its new television unit by hiring outgoing Sony Pictures Television presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to oversee all aspects of worldwide video programming.[12] In August 2017, Apple hired Matt Cherniss as head of domestic creative development.[13] In October 2017, it was reported that Apple had hired Morgan Wandell, formerly head of international productions for Amazon, as head of international creative development.[14] That same month, following reports of sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, Apple announced that they were severing ties with The Weinstein Company and cancelling a planned biopic series about Elvis Presley.[15] In October 2017, Apple hired Jay Hunt as the European creative director of the worldwide video unit.[16] In December 2017, Apple hired Michelle Lee as a senior creative executive in the worldwide video unit.[17] Later that month, Apple hired three more executives to join their worldwide video unit: Tara Sorensen as head of Children's Programming, Tara Pietri as head of Legal Affairs, and Carina Walker as an international development executive.[18] In January 2018, Apple hired Dana Tuinier as the creative executive in charge of comedy for their worldwide video unit.[19] In February 2018, Apple hired Carol Trussell as head of production for their worldwide video unit.[20] In March 2018, Apple hired Angélica Guerra as head of Latin American programming for their worldwide video unit.[21] In April 2018, Apple signed Kerry Ehrin to a multi-year overall deal to produce original content.[22] In May 2018, it was reported that Apple was expected to begin selling subscriptions to certain video services directly via its TV application on iOS and tvOS, rather than asking Apple device owners to subscribe to those services through applications individually downloaded from Apple's application store.[23] In June 2018, Apple signed the Writer's Guild of America's minimum basic agreement and Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year content partnership.[24][25] That same month, Apple announced that they given a multi-series order to Sesame Workshop to produce various live-action and animated series as well as a single puppet-based series.[26] In July 2018, Apple hired Joe Oppenheimer as a creative executive on the international creative development team in the worldwide video unit.[27]

In September 2018, it was reported that Apple had decided to shelve Vital Signs, a six-episode biopic television series centering on the life of hip-hop producer and performer Dr. Dre and starring Ian McShane, Sam Rockwell, and Michael K. Williams, due to concerns about the show's content being too graphic with moments cited including characters doing cocaine, instances of gun violence, and an explicit orgy scene. Reports further indicated that Apple CEO Tim Cook was taking a hands-on approach in regards to the company's worldwide video unit with programming decisions reportedly being aligned to Cook's personal tastes, with a preference for family-friendly shows. Various programs in different stages of production have apparently had their content altered including the toning down of the Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston morning show drama series and the removal of crucifixes from a scene in the M. Night Shyamalan drama series. Additionally, Apple reportedly passed on a television series from comedian Whitney Cummings about the #MeToo movement because it was "too sensitive a topic."[28][29][30] The Cummings series was ultimately put into development by Amazon Video in October 2018.[31]

In October 2018, it was reported that Apple would be distributing their future original content through a still-in-development digital video service to be located within their TV application that is pre-installed in all iOS and tvOS devices. The service was expected to feature both original content, free to owners of Apple devices, as well as subscription "channels" from legacy media companies such as HBO and Starz, which would allow customers to sign up for online-only services.[32] Later that month, it was further reported that Apple intended to roll out the service in the United States during the first half of 2019 and that it would expand its availability to around 100 countries in the months following its initial launch.[33] In November 2018, Apple entered into a multi-year agreement with entertainment company A24 to produce a slate of original films in partnership with their worldwide video unit.[34] In December 2018, Apple hired Sony Pictures's head of feature casting Tamara Hunter as the head of casting for their worldwide video unit.[35] That same month, Apple signed a deal with DHX Media, and its subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide, to develop and produce original programs, including new series, specials and shorts based on the Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz. One of the first productions created through the deal was an original short-form, STEM-related series featuring astronaut Snoopy.[36] Also that month, Apple signed Justin Lin, and his production company Perfect Storm Entertainment, to a multi-year overall deal to produce original television content.[37]

In January 2019, Apple signed Jason Katims, and his production company True Jack Productions, to a multi-year overall production and development deal to produce original television content.[38] That same month, Apple signed a first look deal with Imagine Documentaries to develop non-fiction features and series.[39] In February 2019, Harpo Productions hired Terry Wood as executive Vice President in which Wood will oversee Harpo's production of original programming for Apple as part of the multi-year agreement between Oprah Winfrey and Apple.[40] In March 2019, it was reported that five television series commisioned by Apple had finished filming and six series would finish filming in the next few months. Furthermore, it was revealed that the crufixes in the untitled M. Night Shyamalan series would remain.[41]

On March 25, 2019, Apple held a press event to announce Apple TV+. At the event, Apple showed a teaser of its upcoming original content and formally announced some of its content with actors and producers attached to the content attending the event. Furthermore, the first series from Sesame Street's Sesame Workshop was announced, Helpsters, and Oprah Winfrey announced her first projects for Apple TV+ including a documentary about workplace sexual harassment, a documentary series about mental health as well as a revival of Oprah's Book Club.[42][43] On April 10, 2019, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, announced on Instagram that he was working alongside Winfrey on the mental health documentary series as a co-creator and executive producer.[44] Also in April 2019, Apple hired Molly Thompson as Head of Documentaries for its worldwide video unit.[45]

Programming[edit]

During the announcement of Apple TV+, Apple announced a number of prominent names of writers, directors, and stars that will be featured in the service. As of March 2019, five of the upcoming series had already completed production, with six more already well into filming.[46]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]