Apple is nabbing some big names in the entertainment world for its original TV programming, towards which the company has committed to spend a billion dollars to begin with. They’ve already got a revival of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s program Amazing Stories in the pipeline, they’ve got Carpool Karaoke with a roster of celebrity hosts, and now they’ve roped Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston to do a yet-unnamed scripted drama that will see the two Hollywood stars as executive producers.
The new program, which centers around characters in a morning news show, does have promise, but will it serve Apple Music well in the long run? After all, the drama has secured back to back seasons comprising 10 episodes each, an unusual agreement for an un-piloted show. Is Apple taking a risk here?
Some seem to think Apple is going after the wrong audience with this deal. Granted, Witherspoon and Aniston will bring strong interest from their fans, but the fact that it’s exclusive to Apple Music, which means it’s exclusive to Apple devices and Apple TV, could put a wrench in the works.
Apple Music is not the most accessible of platforms, and at $9.99 a month, there’s really not that much to justify joining the service on the strength of its visual content.
On the other hand, it’s still early days for Apple Music’s foray into original TV programming, and two seasons of 10 episodes each will give the show a fairly long run. Winning awards along the way will certainly help, as will having top-billed stars like Witherspoon, especially after hits like Gone Girl and Wild, as well as the miniseries Big Little Lies. As for Aniston, the quasi-revival of Friends might just do the trick in terms of bringing in a younger audience.