Ninety-four-year-old David Attenborough is a beloved institution — and he may have helped Apple rack up one of its biggest viewership wins for Apple TV+ thus far.
According to Deadline, the Attenborough-narrated The Year Earth Changed documentary special is the most-viewed documentary currently on Apple TV+ in the United States. That’s ahead of high profile titles like Beastie Boys Story, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, and Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You.
As well as the U.S., the documentary also did very well in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Russia, India, France, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. “The Year Earth Changed has inspired audiences globally with its story of hope,” said Jay Hunt, Apple’s Creative Director for Europe. “David Attenborough’s account of clearer skies, cleaner water and animals flourishing has reminded people worldwide that this year on Earth Day nature’s making a comeback.”
From Life on Earth to The Year Earth Changed
While the series was made for Apple, it’s produced by the world-famous BBC Studios Natural History Unit. The BBC division has, for year, which, for years, has carved out a reputation for itself as a global leader in wildlife filmmaking. Founded in 1957, it’s long been associated with Attenborough’s documentaries — beginning all the way back with 1979’s Life on Earth. More recent standouts have included 2001’s The Blue Planet and 2006’s Planet Earth.
The Year Earth Changed deducted on Apple TV+ last Friday, ahead of today’s Earth Day. Cult of Mac reviewer Scout Tafoya wrote that:
“The Year Earth Changed tells one of the few objectively good stories to be told about the year everyone spent in lockdown. As you may have guessed, because people stopped traveling and gathering, the Earth had a little time to recharge its batteries.”
Apple — as per usual — hasn’t revealed specific viewing figures for The Year Earth Changed. (Not too much has changed on that front, at least!) It’s therefore not easy to say how Apple TV+ non-fiction viewership stacks up against scripted shows like Ted Lasso. Nonetheless, it’s a definite win for Apple TV+ — and another reminder of just how much people love David Attenborough.
To celebrate, here’s the Attenborough parody (albeit not with the real guy) Apple used to open WWDC in 2018:
Did you watch The Year Earth Changed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.