culture

Brace Yourself for Apple’s Streaming Service: A List of TV Shows It Will Debut

From Oprah to Steve Carell to M. Night Shyamalan, the tech giant’s subscription platform will truly have it all

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Steve Carell / Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

patrick baslar
November 29, 2018

The video streaming world is more crowded than ever. With Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu rapidly pumping out original content, the competition is fierce and options seem limitless. Yet that hasn’t stopped newcomers from trying to enter the fray: Disney and Facebook are making plays, and web video giant YouTube—in many ways the precursor to modern streaming services—has started streaming movies for free in an attempt to siphon some of Netflix’s audience.

 

But by far the most intriguing company to make a move for the streaming throne is Apple, which reportedly plans to roll out is new TV subscription service in the first half of 2019. Apple's service plans to operate similar to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, with original programming and third party content available to stream. And while Apple hasn’t been able to break into the video streaming world yet, they certainly have the resources to make it happen (with at least a $1 billion budget).

 

But will Apple’s streaming service have enough compelling content to make it worth paying yet another monthly fee? Here’s a breakdown of all the shows we’re most excited to check out when Apple finally unveils its new platform.

1. Oprah‘s new shows

This is a big catch for Apple since Oprah Winfrey might be one of the most recognizable names in television, period. Apple signed the former TV host and media conglomerate to a multi-year deal to develop new shows. “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world. Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple,” the company said in a statement. Beyond that, we don’t know much about the projects. Will Oprah star in them, or simply serve as the creator? It’s unclear, but having her name attached to the launch of a new streaming service is a huge win. 

2. Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’

This show is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Emmy-winning 1980s anthology series Amazing Stories, which only ran for two years. The reboot will be handled by showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, who created ABC’s Once Upon A Time. The show will have a budget of $5 million per episode, reports The Wall Street Journal, and Spielberg will serve as executive producer.

3. Futuristic drama series ‘See’

See is a futuristic drama series written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and directed by Francis Lawrence, who also helmed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the following two Mockingjay films. Deadline reports the series is about a “future when the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society has had to find new ways to interact, to build, to hunt, to survive. All of that is challenged when a set of twins with sight is born.”

4. Sesame Workshop’s shows

Don’t worry—if you make the switch from Netflix to Apple, your kids will still have something to watch. The studio behind Sesame Street announced two new shows launching with Apple, one animated and one live-action, according to The New York Times. No word yet on whether Cookie Monster will be on either show, or how he’ll feel being associated with “Apple.”

5. Star-studded morning show drama with Steve Carell

One of the most buzzed about Apple shows is this star-studded drama about the world of morning news shows, based on CNN reporter Brian Stelter's 2013 book Top of the Morning, about morning show rivalries. It will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who will also serve as executive producers, according to Deadline. It will also star Steve Carell and is being written by Bates Motel co-creator Kerry Ehrin.

6. Comedy series from Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia masterminds Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day are developing a new show about guys working in the video game industry, according to Variety. If it’s any bit as outrageous as it sounds, part Always Sunny and part Silicon Valley, then this could be a top-notch comedy on Apple’s streaming service, starring two recognizable stars from a respected cult series.

7. ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle's new series

Writer and director Damien Chazelle is creating a fresh series for Apple, according to The New York Times. The filmmaker is best known for his critically-acclaimed musical La La Land and drama Whiplash. It’s also not his first time working with a streaming service. Chazelle is also the executive producer of Netflix’s upcoming series The Eddy, about a Paris jazz club.

8. Crime series with Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul

This one is a tad meta: It’s a TV show based on a book about a podcast. According to Variety, Are You Sleeping? is being adapted from a novel about true crime podcasts by Kathleen Barber, about a reporter named Poppy Parnell (played by The Help and Hidden Figures actress Octavia Spencer) who’s investigating the innocence of convicted murderer Warren Cave (played by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul). This show has a timely subject matter and stellar cast, so it’ll be exciting to see show creator Nichelle Tramble Spellman bring it all together.

9. M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller series

Apple has also ordered a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, of “Bruce Willis was actually dead the whole time” fame, according to Variety. The show will be written by Tony Basgallop, who wrote Jack Bauer reboots like 24: Live Another Day and 24: Legacy. The series will be 10 episodes, at 30 minutes each. No word yet on the show’s plot.

10. Space drama from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ creator

Streaming services: the final frontier. Oh wait, that’s space. Luckily, Apple has decided to combine the two, ordering a space drama from Ronald D. Moore, writer on the critically heralded remake of Battlestar Galactica, according to Deadline. The show will be produced by Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, the brains behind FX’s Fargo. Moore is also known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.