Looking for some Apple TV Plus exclusive shows and the Apple TV Plus launch lineup? So is Apple. With the Apple TV streaming service set to launch before the end of 2019, it will need some big-hitting shows to draw people away from established services like Netflix or Hulu.
Thankfully, things are starting to shape up for the service.
At the company’s September 10 event we got another look at some of the cool new series coming our way on November 1 when the service launches, and now have a price for the service: $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month.
So what can you expect from the service? From Steven Spielberg anthology stories to Oprah Winfrey’s next show, to dramas set everywhere from TV studios to a post-apocalyptic future – and even a Christmas musical – here’s what’s coming to Apple TV Plus.
Apple TV Plus launch lineup
For All Mankind
For All Mankind is a new alternative history series from Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore, reimagining the space race of the 1960s and 1970s, from a position that sees the Soviet Union putting man on the moon first.
The Morning Show
The Morning Show a ‘behind the curtain’ show looking at TV production as a workplace, with Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), Jennifer Aniston (Friends) and Steve Carell (The Office). Seen through the eyes of two ambitious female leads, with Steve Carell in a supporting role, it’ll reveal the tensions of a high-stakes morning TV show. It’s the first time Jennifer Aniston has been part of a TV show for quite some time and we couldn’t be more excited to have her back.
The Elephant Queen
Apple hasn’t said much about this nature doc, but did provide a short synopsis after its September 10 iPhone 11 event: The Elephant Queen, an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming. Planet Earth, eat your heart out.
‘See’ will put Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) in a thriller about a post-apocalyptic world in which everyone has been struck blind for many centuries, to the point where many question if sight ever existed. A quick clip made it appear a bit like Birdbox, but with future cavemen. Kinda.
Announced several months after the launch event, Dickinson will be a comedy biopic offering a slanted look at the life of American poet Emily Dickinson, asking what kind of story could be told if we saw her as a hell-raiser rather than an isolated bedroom writer. Starring Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Into the Spider-Verse) as Dickinson herself.
The biggest cheer of the event came for the unveiling of a new Oprah Winfrey led TV show. The first documentary will look into “scourge and toll of sexual harassment in the workplace”, while the second is set to be a multi part series focussing on mental health issues across the globe. This was in addition to a new book club that the TV legend will be running with Apple’s support.
This one’s for the kids. According to Apple, Ghostwriter is “a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.”
Snoopy in Space
If you want your kids to grow up with the same gang of characters you did, you’re in luck: Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts crew are coming to Apple TV Plus this year. According to Apple this edutainment series will takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
Last but certainly not least is Helpsters, a new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street” that stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems.
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Apple TV Plus shows coming later…
A Christmas Carol
Need some festive entertainment? This Christmas we should be getting a musical take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, featuring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. There’s little information so far, but cue silly songs, ghosts, and more in this retelling from two talented comedic actors.
Kumail Nanjiani of Silicon Valley fame will lead ‘Little America’ an anthology series featuring the true adapted stories of immigrants coming to the United States for the first time. It sounds a bit crazy, with one true story focussing on a 12 year old kid left to run a motel when his parents are deported. Syrian, Iranian, Algerian stories are just a few of the cultures and nations represented.
Servant is as mysterious as its director, M. Night Shyamalan. According to Apple this one’s a new psychological thriller that “follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.” Yikes.
Recently, we found out that M.Night Shyamalan’s Servant TV series will come to Apple TV Plus on November 28. According to Engadget,that mysterious force manifests as an “unnervingly life-like doll [that they bring] into their home after losing their baby”.
JJ Abrams (director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) took to the stage with singer-songwriter and actress Sara Bareilles to introduce Little Voice, focussing on the trials and tribulations of a rising star. It’s not clear at this moment if it’s an adaptation of the stage production of the same name.
One of the shows we’re most excited for is Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. It’s resurrecting the serialised stories of the magazine of the same name, re-imagined by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, production house. First published in 1926, this will be classic story-telling in the Spielberg vein.
Truth Be Told
Apple wants to get in on the crime podcast wave, but plans on doing it in a decidedly different way. According to the company, Truth Be Told is “a gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.”
The Banker is Apple TV Plus’ first feature film that stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who “try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas.” Apparently Nia Long (Big Mama’s House) and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) also star.
Another feature film from Apple, Hala follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing. Hopefully we’ll hear more about this in the coming months.
Will these be enough to dethrone Netflix?
Will this be enough to dethrone Netflix – the only big name streaming service that appears to have been left in the cold by Apple? There are certainly huge names involved. Sesame Street aside, it’s lacking established franchises to bring existing fans into the fold. There’s also so far no talk of feature length movies – everything revealed so far appears to be serialised content.
And, of course, though a fall release date has been announced, there’s no pricing yet. Will customers be prepared to sign up to yet another service?
But what Apple has achieved is bringing in some absolutely gigantic industry talent to the table. If the quality of shows produced can match the names on the call sheet, we’re in for some fun sessions in front of the ‘ol gogglebox.