Reports from last year suggested Dr Dre would soon star in Apple's first original TV series, a somewhat-autobiographical drama called Vital Signs, but now we're hearing that another Hip-Hop star, Will.i.am, is set to star in the company's first major attempt at original programming.
Eddy Cue, an Apple executive, told The New York Times the upcoming show will be a reality series that covers how apps are developed and sold in Apple's App Store. The idea came from Ben Silverman, who is an executive producer on shows like Jane the Virgin, The Biggest Loser, Marco Polo, and Flaked. Cue however cautioned that Apple won't be getting into a "huge amount of movie production or TV production."
Still, he said the company would continue to explore similar projects. We've detailed what some of those projects might be below.
Apple original content: Why is Apple producing TV?
The Street claimed last year that Apple met with Hollywood studios and executives about developing original TV shows.
It was thought at first that this original content could spearhead Apple's oft-rumoured streaming TV service, which has been repeatedly delayed due to the company's inability to secure content deals with CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, Viacom, etc. Apple is rumoured to announce its cable-like service with original TV programming alongside the iPhone 7 in September 2016.
iTunes chief Eddy Cue is leading the discussions with Hollywood, meaning the original shows could be made available for rent or purchase on iTunes. However, they might be exclusive to Apple's streaming service. Sort of like Netflix, the service is expected to include on-demand access to unlimited programming for a set monthly cost between $30 and $40 per month.
Netflix, which has disrupted Hollywood in recent years, produces original shows like Daredevil, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black. By adopting a similar strategy to Netlfix, Apple could launch a successful streaming service accessible only through Apple TV, Mac, and iOS devices, which could then lead to bolster sales of its products. But all this is speculation.
Keep in mind The New York Post claimed Apple is looking to acquire some Time Warner assets, such as CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network, its Warner Bros movies division, and more, which would net it exclusive rights to the popular series, including Game of Thrones.
You can read more about Apple's rumoured streaming service from here:
Apple original content: What shows are in the works?
Will.i.am/App Store show
Apple has teamed up with artist Will.i.am as well as Hollywood producers Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens on a non-scripted television show focused on the app economy, according to The New York Times. The company has not announced a title, release timeframe, plots/storylines, episode length, nor information about on where the show will air. It could made available through an app in the App Store, for instance.
It could also be made available as a standard TV show on iTunes or Apple Music. All we know is that Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, thinks the show is "perfectly tailored" for Apple: "One of the things with the app store that was always great about it was the great ideas that people had to build things and create things," he added.
Dr Dre's Vital Signs show
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is producing a series called Vital Signs. It's described as a dark drama and stars Hip Hop mogul Dr Dre. Sources who saw scripts for the show described it as being semi-autobiographical in that it is about a part of Dr Dre's life, though each episode will focus on a "different emotion and how Dre’s character deals with it."
Each episode will be 30 minutes in length and will feature plenty of violence and sex. One episode that began filming last month reportedly shows an extended orgy scene, for instance. All episodes will be released at once, and they'll likely be distributed through Apple Music, which was born out of the Beats Music service created by Dr Dre. It might also be available through the App Store or iTunes.
Dr Dre is an executive producer, but the whole thing is backed by Apple. The series will also star Sam Rockwell, who is known for films like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Moon, and it will be directed by Paul Hunter.
Apple original content: What about music videos?
Last July, Apple Music debuted a new music video from Drake called Energy. Prior to that, Apple had exclusively debuted videos for Pharrell's Freedom and Eminem's Phenomenal. Pitchfork claimed those videos were developed in-house at Apple for its music-streaming service, meaning the company's first foray into original programming might've actually kicked off with music videos.
Apple original content: Want to know more?
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