Apple has finally revealed its TV streaming service, Apple TV+. Here's everything we know about the on-demand platform so far.
After a steady run of rumours, leaks and speculation, Apple has finally pulled the curtain back on its cable/Internet TV streaming service Apple TV+ at its recent Showtime event. After a number of surprise announcements – like Apple News+, Apple Card and Apple Arcade – details of Apple TV's incoming update and the Apple TV+ service have officially been revealed.
What is Apple TV+?
In addition to the updates coming to the Apple TV app (Sony, Samsung and LG Smart TV compatibility as well as Mac compatibility in Spring 2019) and the Apple Channels announcement (cable and Internet TV services in one destination), Apple announced the Apple TV+ service.
While the announcement of Apple TV+ was more concerned with the content coming to the service than hard and fast details about pricing and availability, we do know that it will be an on-demand, ad-free platform focused on original content.
What is Apple Channels?
Apple Channels is part of the revamped Apple TV app. Apple Channels will allow users to trial and subscribe to a huge number of cable and Internet TV services via the Apple TV interface (meaning that you won't have to leave the app to subscribe to a particular service).
Among the selection of channels that will be available at launch are MUBI, CBS All Access, SHOWTIME, Starz, HBO, Cinemax and AMC's suite of on-demand services (Sundance Now, Shudder, Acorn TV).
All titles and services will be enabled for Family Sharing and can be downloaded for offline play. The Apple Channels recommendation algorithm will also take into consideration TV shows and movies from the channels/services you are subscribed to.
There's also a Kids Channels app à la YouTube Kids with curated family friendly content and channels.
When does Apple TV+ release?
Apple TV+ will release in the US in spring 2019. There was no word of an expected release window for the rest of the world but Apple did announce that the platform is planned to launch in over 100 countries.
How much will Apple TV+ cost?
There was no mention of pricing in the presentation. Rumours have circulated that the Apple TV+ service will be free (whereas Apple Channels will be paid) and others suggest that it will be priced competitively against Netflix, so somewhere below the US$9.99 mark.
Which devices will Apple TV+ be available on?
In addition to the usual suspects, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Apple TV+ will be available on Mac and a variety of smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and more, along with the announced changes to the Apple TV app.
Mac compatibility will be arriving spring 2019, but there's no official date for when Apple TV+ will be compatible with smart TVs (though we're guessing it'll come with the Apple TV app update, which is arriving May 2019).
As mentioned above, all Apple TV+ titles will be available for offline viewing, though there was no clarification around which devices will have access to offline viewing.
What exclusive TV shows will be coming to Apple TV+?
While there were no surprises on stage when it came to content, we did get a closer look at a few of the series in production at Apple. First to take the stage was Steven Spielberg, who introduced his upcoming anthology series Amazing Stories, a remake of the 1985 NBC series of the same name.
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell all took to the stage to discuss their upcoming drama-comedy series The Morning Show, which takes aim at sexism and inequality in a US morning show studio.
Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Alfre Woodward (Luke Cage) also arrived on stage to introduce the dystopian sci-fi drama See. Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) lightened things up with a tight routine about his experience moving to Ohio from Pakistan before discussing Little America, and JJ Abrams introduced Sara Bareilles, who performed an original track from her upcoming series Little Voice.
This section of the presentation ended with a regal introduction to TV royalty, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is working on a number of documentaries for Apple including Toxic Labour, a workplace expose, a multi-part mental health series and a Book Club series where Oprah interviews her favourite authors.
Below is a full list of confirmed TV shows being developed by Apple Studios.
Every title on Apple TV+ will be available for offline play.
|Amazing Stories||Steven Spielberg and Edward Kitsis (Once Upon a Time) are working on a fantasy anthology series based on the 1985–87 NBC series of the same name.
Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan), Austin Stowell (Dolphin Tale) and Halt and Catch Fire's Kerry Bishe are all attached to star in some capacity.
Amazing Stories is co-produced by Universal and Amblin and is expected to release in 2019.
|Are You Sleeping||Based on the 2017 novel of the same name, Are You Sleeping is a crime drama that takes aim at the rise of true crime podcasts like Serial. The book follows Josie Burhman as her family's grisly history is pulled into the spotlight by an investigative journalist/podcaster.
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) are all set to star in the adaptation.
Filming of the first season wrapped in December 2018 but there's still no indication of when the TV show is set to release.
|Calls||Riding on the success of the French series of the same name, Calls is another anthology series in production at Apple. This adaptation uses actual audio from a number of curious calls to create minimalistic 10-minute short films.
In addition to the fresh adaptation for English-speaking audiences, the original French version has also been picked up Apple as an exclusive.
The English version will be led by French creator Timothée Hochet.
|Short film series|
|Carpool Karaoke: The Series||Apple picked up the rights to James Corden's Carpool Karaoke back in 2017 after The Late Late Show segment became something of a viral hit thanks to a series of high-profile musical guests, like One Direction.
Central Park is an upcoming animated musical comedy from the mind of Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard. It follows a family of caretakers in Central Park who somehow end up saving the world.
Central Park has a magnificent voice cast lineup with Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr, Kimmy Schmidt's Tituss Burgess and The Good Place's Kristen Bell all lending their vocals to the cartoon's main cast.
No release window has been announced at the time of writing.
Dickinson is a comedic coming-of-age story based on the life of American poet Emily Dickinson.
It will star Hallee Steinfeld (True Grit) in the lead role as Dickinson with Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) co-starring as Emily's mother.
Principal photography for the series started in January 2019 so the series is still a while off.
|For All Mankind||Ronald D Moore (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica) is whipping up a new sci-fi series for Apple. For All Mankind is a single-camera sci-fi drama that asks the question, "What if the global space race never ended?"
We know Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon), Michael Dorman (Patriot) and Sarah Jones (Alcatraz) will lead the main cast, but other than that, details on the TV series are skint.
|Foundation||This sci-fi will be based on Isaac Asimov's classic book series of the same name and is set to be produced by David S Goyer (Batman vs Superman) and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
Asimov's daughter, Robyn Asimov, will also oversee the project as executive producer.
Home is an upcoming documentary series for the Grand Design audience that takes viewers inside "some of the world's most extraordinary homes and unveils the boundary-pushing imagination of the visionaries who dared to dream and build them."
10 episodes have been given the green light with a 2019 launch date in mind.
|Little America||Produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon (the duo behind The Big Sick) and Alan Yang (Master of None), Little America is an anthology series based on a collection of true stories of the same name.
Each episode will delve into the lives of immigrants living in the USA "at a time that when their stories are more relevant than ever".
|Little Voice||This is a romantic comedy-drama from I Am Sam writer/director Jessie Nelson and singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles.
Little is known about Little Voice except that it will explore the "universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s".
|Magic Hour||This mystery/drama series from Dana Fox (What Happens in Vegas) follows a young girl in her journey to dig up secrets from her father's past in the hometown he left behind many years prior.
Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project), Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe) and Abby Miller (Justified) will lead the main cast.
No word yet on when Magic Hour is due out but principal photography for the series isn't expected to wrap until April 2019.
|The Morning Show||
The Morning Show is a drama TV series starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup that offers an "inside look at the lives of people who help America wake up in the morning".
With two seasons ordered, this is possibly the most anticipated show from Apple's current line-up.
|Planet of the Apps||This is The Voice meets Silicon Valley. In each episode, app developers are tasked with pitching their unique app ideas to a celebrity panel of judges (Jessica Alba, Gwenyth Paltrow, will.i.am and Gary Vaynerchuk).
Season One has already been released and is available to stream via Apple Music.
|See||This upcoming dystopian drama is set in a future where the human race has lost its sense of sight. When twins are born with their sight, this society is thrown into a bit of a rut.
See is written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) but the coolest thing about this project by far is the fact that it's got Jason Momoa as a character named "Baba Voss". Sign us up!
|Swagger!||Inspired by producer Kevin Durant's experiences as a young baller, Swagger! offers a dramatic look at "the world of AAU basketball in the nation's capital, and the players, families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, opportunism and corruption."
The series was ordered in December 2018 so it could be a while until more information is revealed.
In addition to the productions listed above, there are also a number of untitled projects in the works from Damien Chazelle, M Night Shyamalan, Richard Gere, Rob McElhenney/Charlie Day and Simon Kinberg/David Weil.
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