Apple’s star-studded TV show lineup is starting to look like it could become a legitimate contender to Netflix and HBO.
After going on a spending spree in Hollywood the last eight months, Apple appears to be poised to make a huge push into original content. Thanks to its new TV executive team, a lot of the series in development actually look really promising and diverse. From Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories to the mysterious new series called See, Apple’s working on some shows everyone could enjoy.
Check out all the full list of TV series Apple is working on:
Sounds like: Black Mirror meets Stranger Things
One of Apple’s first major projects is the rebooting of Steven Spielberg’s 1980’s TV show Amazing Stories. The show has been in the works since 2015 with Apple purchasing last year after it was originally started at NBC.
The show will be similar to the original in that each episode will have a self-contained plot and characters. The original showrunner, Bryan Fuller, reportedly wanted to to be similar to Black Mirror in tone. Apple wanted a more family-friendly show so the two sides parted ways and Hart Hansen has taken over the showrunner role with Spielberg serving as executive producer on the project. The show promises to show viewers “worlds of wonder through the lens of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers.”
Morning Talk Show
Sounds like: The Office mixed with Anchorman.
Apple is making a big investment in Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine. The iPhone-maker has three shows in the works that are being produced by Witherspoon, the first up is a comedy TV show starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston. The show sounds kind of like The Office or Parks and Rec only it takes place at a morning TV talk show.
Two seasons with a total of 20 episodes have already been purchased by Apple, but the production is off to a rocky start. Creator and showrunner Jay Carson recently departed the project over creative differences. A search for his replacement is still underway.
Kristen Wiig comedy
Sounds like: Master of None, only take out the cooking part and add a female lead.
Kristen Wiig is coming back to TV thanks to Apple. In her first TV show since leaving SNL, Wiig is set to star in a new comedy series created by Reese Witherspoon’s production company.
The show is based off Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection “You Think It, I’ll Say It.” Even though it’ll be a comedy it also sounds like the show will tackle some series issues too. The book is described as one that “upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.” The first season will consist of 10 half-hour episodes.
Are You Sleeping
Sounds like: The Good Wife with a podcasting murder-mystery twist.
Reese Witherspoon’s third show in development with Apple will star Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer in an adaptation of the true crime best-selling book “Are You Sleeping” by Kathleen Barber.
We don’t know a lot about it, except that the adaptation is being written by Nichelle D. Tramble whose credits include The Good Wife and Justified. The show will be about a podcast team that reopens a long-closed murder case which affects the staff’s lives too. It sounds a lot like a TV version of Serial only with more drama.
Sounds like: Fresh Off the Boat mixed with some Atlanta style.
Immigration will take center stage in one of Apple’s most original comedies called Little America that is being written by Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani and his partner Emily V. Gordon. The duo wrote the 2017 indie hit Big Sick together.
Little America is described as “a small, collective portrait of America’s immigrants — and thereby a portrait of America itself.” Considering Nanjiani and Gordon’s previous work, it’ll probably have a lot of laughs as well as touching dramatic moments.
Lee Eisenberg will serve as showrunner and will help write the show with Godron and Najiani. Master of None co-creator/executive producer Alan Yang is set to join the project as executive producer with Universal Television.
Sounds like: A bad ass sci-fi space opera.
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has been tapped by Apple to create one of its most ambitious shows yet. The series is called See but details beyond that are slim right now. See is described as an epic world-building drama set in the future. That’s pretty much all we know for now though, other than it’s being directed by Francis Lawrence of Hunger Games fame.
Sounds like: Game of Thrones only it’s in space and the scale is even bigger.
Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi trilogy Foundation is finally getting the TV series it deserves. Apple media boss Eddy Cue has said the company wants a show that’s as big as Game of Thrones and this could be it.
The trilogy is about a galactic empire of humans living on multiple planets across the galaxy. If the concept of Foundation sounds a bit like Star Wars to you, that’s because it was one of the biggest inspirations behind George Lucas’ sci-fi fairytale set in a galaxy far far away. The story’s protagonist has the ability to see the future and the empire’s upcoming demise. He then sets out to save the knowledge of mankind from being wiped out. The Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer is set to lead the project.
This isn’t the first time someone’s tried turn Foundation into a TV show though, don’t get your hopes up too high yet. Jonothan Nolan wanted to make it into an HBO series back in 2014, but then went on to create Westworld
Sounds like: It won’t be as good as Rick and Morty.
New York City’s Central Park will be the setting of Apple’s first animated music comedy that is being produced by Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard and Josh Gad.
Two seasons with 13 episodes each have already been ordered by Apple. Central Park will have some A-list voice actors joining the cast. Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Titus Burgess, Stanley Tucci, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, and Kathryn Hahn are signed onto the project that’s described as “a family of caretakers, who live and work in Central Park, end up saving the park, and basically the world.”
Sounds like: Friday Night Lights focused on basketball.
The early life of NBA star Kevin Durant will be the inspiration of Apple’s first sports-focused show. Swagger will explore the world of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball and the players, coaches and family members that are involved with it.
The series sounds like it will be similar to Friday Night Lights only with basketball as the lens to view its characters’ lives through. Both Ron Howard and Brian Grazer — the same producers that made Friday Night Lights a hit — will produce the series.
Ronald D. Moore sci-fi series
Genre: Sci-fi Drama
Sounds like: The Man In the High Castle only U.S.A and Russa won WWII but never ended the space race.
A futuristic world where the space race between USA and Russia never ended will serve as the setting for Apple’s sci-fi epic being created by Ronald D. Moore.
Moore, who helped create Battlestar Galactica, will create the series and be the lead writer. Fargo co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi have been brought on to help produce the show too. The project is still in the early stages and likely won’t come out until late 2019.
M. Night Shyamalan series
Sounds like: Something strange.
Shyamalan inked a deal to executive produce a new TV show for Apple that’s being described as a psychological thriller. All other details are being kept under wraps. The show is being written by Tony Basgallop with Shyamalan set to direct the first episode. So far Apple has ordered one season of 10 episodes that are about a half-hour in length each.
Damien Chazelle series
Sounds like: A total mystery.
Academy Award-winning writer/director Damien Chazelle has also been tapped by Apple to create a mysterious new original TV show. Chazelle’s deal with Apple came a year after his film La La Land scored six Oscars, including Best Director and Best Screenplay for Chazelle. Each episode will be written and directed by Chazelle who is also listed as an executive producer on the project. No actors have signed to star in the series yet, but we’re sure to hear more about the cast as the project develops.
Sounds like: The Apple edition of Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
The most extravagant homes in the world will be on display for Apple’s first lifestyle TV show. The new docuseries called Homes will explore some of the most fabulous abodes in the world, along with the minds that made them. Think Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous only with more of a focus on design. Hopefully, they get Jony Ive to narrate.
Sounds like: Glee only not as lame
J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles are teaming up to executive produce this musical dramedy with Jessie Nelson of I am Sam fame serving as showrunner. The series is described as a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York which explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.
Sounds like: 21st century femenist comedy with 19th centurty flair.
American poet Emily Dickinson and the constraints of society on gender and family in the 19th century will serve as the inspiration behind Apple’s latest comedy series. The half-hour show stars Hailee Steinfeld as Dickinson who examines her out-of-place role in society with modern sensibilities. David Gordon Green of Pineapple Express and Vice Principals fame is set to direct and executive produce along with Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta from Sugar23 Productions. Alex Goldstone and Darlene Hunt are producing for Anonymous Content.
Sounds like: Slumdog Millionaire without the game show.
Shantaram will be based on the bestselling novel of the same name that has sold more than six million copies worldwide. It tells a story of an Australian prisoner on the run named Lin who tries to get lost in the city of Bombay. He then finds a new life in slums and underworld of India.
American Hustle writer Eric Warren Singer will write and executive produce the series. Singer also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Top Gun sequel.
Jonny Depp bought the rights to the novel with Warner Bros. developing it as a movie. Joel Edgerton was attached to star but the project got canceled. Currently no actors have signed onto the project that we’re aware of.