Apple’s original TV shows and series: The Elephant Queen and Wolfwalkers join Apple’s slate of films

Apple’s original TV shows and series: The Elephant Queen and Wolfwalkers join Apple’s slate of films

Apple

Apple is said to be spending as much as $1 billion over the course of 2018 on original TV programming. That’s a lot of TV! It’s not the $8 billion Netflix is going to spend, but it’s still a huge commitment.

What can you get for a billion dollars? Well, some simple math gives us 200 episodes at $5 million a piece (a reasonable per-episode price for high-end TV). But we’re not likely to actually see 10-20 shows with 10-20 episodes each, all costing around that much. For starters, that billion dollars has to cover a lot more than per-episode production costs.

Updated 09/10/18: Deadline reports that Apple has picked up distribution rights to two movies: the documentary The Elephant Queen and the animated feature Wolfwalkers.

The bulk of Apple’s TV content is likely to be in production throughout 2018, with actual release dates in 2019. We’ll probably see a mix of show types, from reality TV to dramas, and even a few films and miniseries, too. Currently, Apple’s TV efforts are accessed through Apple Music, but that’s not really an optimal experience. We don’t know if the company will simply release content through iTunes, the TV app, or a new channel, but access is likely to be tied to Apple Music subscriptions—at least in the near term.

While most of Apple’s TV projects are shrouded in secrecy, what little we know confirms that Apple is spending big bucks on top-tier talent. The two projects released in 2017 (Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke) were uninspiring, but prospects seem far better for the future.

Here’s a list of all the exclusive TV content we know Apple is working on, along with expected release dates.

Planet of the Apps

It’s like Shark Tank for app developers! Celebrity judges Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Gary Vaynerchuk sit through pitches by app developers who go on to try to earn big VC money.

planet apps 2 Apple

Famous entrepreneurs judge apps, with the winners scoring big VC money.

It’s…not great. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Planet of the Apps, really. It’s just sort of boring. Each of the 10 episodes is nearly an hour long, and doesn’t manage to capture much drama about the developers or the challenges they face in bringing their ideas to market. It all moves too slowly, and feels crammed with “celebrity factor” where the developers should really be the stars.

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