Apple’s original TV shows mostly suck today — but next year could be a big turning point.
According to The New York Times, Apple is expected to release up to 12 new original video series starting in March 2019.
Despite its inexperience creating original video, Eddie Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services who is also in charge of Apple’s worldwide video unit, says the company is “completely all in” on expanding its content to compete with other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Apple has reportedly inked deals for 12 different projects, nine of which have been green-lit for “straight-to-series,” since it started aggressively building up its video portfolio in October.
Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Apple had set aside about $1 billion to throw at original video and now the Times says it’ll end up spending even more. But what’s a few billion dollars for a company with a market valuation of almost a trillion bucks? It’s chump change.
A billion dollars may seem like a huge investment, but it pales in comparison to how much Netflix is spending to maintain its lead. During its fall quarterly earnings, the video streaming service announced plans to spend up to $8 billion on original content.
Meanwhile, Apple’s worldwide video unit is collecting an impressive roster of TV veterans and there’s genuine interest and excitement for several of its newly announced shows.
For example, there’s a series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon about the behind-the-scenes happenings at a morning television show. Then there’s a revival of Steven Spielberg’s ’80s sci-fi series Amazing Stories. And oh, there’s also Central Park, an animated series by Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard.
Apple most likely won’t knock Netflix off its throne next year, but it could be the company’s big recovery moment after last year’s Planet of the Apps failed spectacularly.
Other shows we know Apple is working on include:
Carpool Karaoke (season 2)
Central Park, animated series by Bob’s Burgers creator
Swagger, a series based on NBA star Kevin Durant’s life and career
Amazing Stories, Steven Spielberg ’80s series reboot
Little America, series on immigrants in America by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily v. Gordon (of The Big Sick)
See, a drama set in the future by Steve Knight and Francis Lawrence (of The Hunger Games)
Unnamed comedy show starring Kristin Wiig
Unnamed morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston
Unnamed thriller series by M. Night Shyamalan
Unnamed space drama by Ronald D. Moore (of Battlestar Galactica)
Unnamed drama series by La La Land’s Damien Chazelle
As you can see a lot of good stuff is on the horizon. And this is likely only the beginning.