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Apple's New Slate of Original Programming May Launch as Early as March 2019

Apple is on track to outspend Facebook and YouTube on original content for the launch of its TV series and movie platform, which could debut as early as March next year.

Additional details of Apple's aggressive push into original programming were revealed on Monday in a New York Times article titled Apple Goes to Hollywood. Will Its Story Have a Happy Ending?


According to the report, Apple’s strong brand name and its willingness to write big checks have quickly made it a top draw for show creators and stars. Furthermore, to underline its ambitions in the original content space, the company is said to be building a 128,000-square-foot headquarters for its new entertainment division in Culver City, California.

The location will likely be home to a 40-person team working on Apple Worldwide Video, whose portfolio of shows will include adult dramas, children's shows, and programming for Latin America and Europe. The planned rollout of the new slate of original content is expected to be sometime between March 2019 and summer 2019.

Last August it was reported Apple would spend $1 billion acquiring and producing original TV shows and Hollywood content over the next year. However, today's report suggests Apple will plough a lot more money into programming than that amount, having outbid Netflix in negotiations for some shows and exceeded Facebook's and YouTube's original content spend in recent months.

According to NYT, entertainment executives who met with Apple say the company is looking for TV shows that align with its "bright, optimistic" brand. That accords with previous rumors suggesting Apple wants to produce shows with broad appeal that are also inoffensive enough to be shown in an Apple Store. For example, Bryan Fuller, who was set to be the showrunner for Apple's upcoming "Amazing Stories" reboot, reportedly cut ties with the company after it requested family friendly content only. Today's report notes that Apple still hasn't found a replacement for Fuller.

Meanwhile, the delivery mechanism for the original content still remains unclear – the shows could be accessed through Apple's TV app or another standalone wrapper as part of a separate subscription streaming service.

Apple is known to have invested in at least 12 television shows so far. They include include a new animated TV series called "Central Park" an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon (which is said to be still waiting on a script), an "Amazing Stories" reboot from Steven Spielberg, an untitled space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, a series written by "La La Land" creator Damien Chazelle, a Kristen Wiig comedy series, See, an epic world-building drama, Home, a docuseries focusing on incredible homes, "Little America," an anthology series from "The Big Sick" creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Swagger, a drama based on the early life and career of NBA star Kevin Durant, and a psychological thriller produced by M. Night Shyamalan.

Additional detail on all of Apple's TV projects can be found in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
It’s too bad that all that money is going towards content that sounds terrible, boring, or too kid friendly.
Rating: 11 Votes
9 months ago
Where is the legendary focus of this company?
Where is the Jobs philosophy of sometimes you have to say no to ideas, features, ventures and products?
Rating: 9 Votes
9 months ago
Are customers expected to rent or pay for yet another streaming service to be able to view this 'original content'?

Apple have lost their minds if they honestly think people are going to pay for another streaming service. Apple are far too late to the party. Again.
Rating: 6 Votes
9 months ago

Apple is on track to outspend Facebook and YouTube on original content

Is this a big deal? I honestly don't know. I do know it would be a big deal if they were outspending Netflix or Amazon. But FB and YT:confused:... does anyone know if this is a big deal beyond name recognition?
Rating: 5 Votes
9 months ago
I think they meant to say "may launch as LATE as March 2019".
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

It’s too bad that all that money is going towards content that sounds terrible, boring, or too kid friendly.

This is from a guy in his mid-20s with no kids, I welcome their kid friendly policy with open arms. I'm tired that Netflix and others keep adding violence and sex just for the heck of it to everything they release.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

I'm tired that Netflix and others keep adding violence and sex just for the heck of it to everything they release.


Well, they're releasing kids stuff as well...

The sex & violence stuff, well that's partly the "Game of Thrones" bandwagon effect and a previously unfilled market niche for "adult" SF and fantasy created by mainstream Hollywood's abhorrence of R-rated movies. The books that shows like Altered Carbon and American Gods are based on are definitely not for the faint-hearted, so that's just Netflix/Amazon being more faithful to the book than traditional Hollywood might have been.

The only ones that annoyed me slightly w.r.t. violence were Daredevil/Iron Fist which fell into an awkward gap between comic-book violence and realistic violence - with the heroes proudly asserting their anti-killing credentials while handing out graphically-portrayed cans of bloody whoopass that would have surely left a fair proportion the recipients on life support. C.f. Jessica Jones where the protagonist's failure to avoid a body count is central to the plot.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

Where is the legendary focus of this company?
Where is the Jobs philosophy of sometimes you have to say no to ideas, features, ventures and products?

I'm kind of in agreement with this. Although I'm a fanboy, I'm not a zealot like many other people on this forum.

I like the notch in the iPhone X. I really enjoy the lifestyle-focused ads they've been running. But this focus on original video programming is really odd. It feels like a lack of disciplined business growth. I suppose the strategy is that as their competitors' hardware reaches meaningful parity, they have to find other ways to lock people in. Thus, if they control the source of entertainment that people consume on said devices, they can better control the stream of revenue. But that would mean they'd have to make all of this content exclusive to Apple services/devices. Though, I'm not sure I would expect them to do anything otherwise.

I just find it hard to believe that folks would find their content so compelling as to choose Apple services/devices if they were at a crossroads between them and another option. All things being equal, I'm not sure that I would.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
TIL Facebook has original programming
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago

Are customers expected to rent or pay for yet another streaming service to be able to view this 'original content'?

Apple have lost their minds if they honestly think people are going to pay for another streaming service. Apple are far too late to the party. Again.

This is exactly what people said when Apple Music was released. Cord cutting is in its infancy and nobody has won the streaming content war yet. In fact I doubt one company will ever be the winner. Anyway my guess is Apple will bundle this TV content with Apple Music into one subscription.
Rating: 1 Votes

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