Less than three months after Apple TV+ launched, it has picked up its first major awards win. At the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, Billy Crudup won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series gong for his role as Cory Ellison in The Morning Show.
Crudup was up against Asante Blackk from This Is Us, Asia Kate Dillon from Billions, Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones, and Tim Blake Nelson from Watchmen.
“It’s an unbelievable thrill,” Crudup told ET’s Keltie Knight regarding being cast in the role. “To get a part like that is an unbelievable thrill — and I’ve been working for a long time and I’ve had some great parts.”
Apple has reportedly made winning awards a priority with Apple TV+. According to a 2019 report, Apple has hired a team of people with awards strategy experience helping craft its campaigns. This is a major part of winning awards in 2020, following the aggressive model pioneered by Miramax in the 1990s. Netflix, which remains the benchmark for a successful streaming TV company, roared out of the gate with awards when it started making its own original programming around 2013.
A few years down the line, the media landscape is even more saturated than it was at that point. This means that Apple is having to work even harder to get the word out about Apple TV+. Awards like this will help. They will also lend more credibility to Apple as it tries to win over new talent for future series and movies.
The Morning Show hasn’t been unanimously well-received. Early reviews for the show were dire. The show’s producers suggested this was the result of Apple haters. But it has proven to be a hit with audiences.
Billy Crudup’s Morning Show win follows…
Billy Crudup’s win at the Critics Choice Awards comes hot on the heels of Apple’s disappointing Golden Globes showing. Both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were nominated for best performance by an actress in a TV drama. The show additionally picked up a nomination for best TV drama series. However, it failed to translate any of these nominations into a win.
Even worse, host Ricky Gervais took a shot at Apple during his monolog. Gervais quipped that The Morning Show is a “superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing. Made by a company that runs sweatshops in China.”