Ted Lasso and Stillwater score Peabody nominations for Apple TV+

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Bumbling coach Ted Lasso is back, and headed for Apple TV+.
Jason Sudeik stars in Ted Lasso, a fish-out-of-water comedy for Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Peabody Award nominations went out Tuesday to Apple comedy series Ted Lasso as well as the children’s program Stillwater.

The annual Peabodys honor excellence in broadcasting the same way Pulitzers recognize outstanding journalism. The awards “reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day,” according to the National Association of Broadcasters.

Behold, Apple’s best of 2020 [Cult of Mac Magazine 378]

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Apple picks the year's winners.
Apple picks the year's winners.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

It’s December, so it’s time to brace yourself for the annual onslaught of “best of” recommendations. Cupertino came out of the gate early this week, crowning its favorite 15 apps and games of the year.

Separately, the company also highlighted the biggest hits on Apple Music, diced in a variety of ways, as well as the best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020. And, like last year, Apple Music users can check out their own personal hit lists. Take a look at your Replay 2020 playlist for insight into what you streamed with abandon during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Get the lowdown in this week’s free edition of Cult of Mac Magazine. It’s loaded with the week’s top Apple news, plus plenty of how-tos for iPhone, HomePod and Mac users.

We’ve also got reviews of three new Apple TV+ shows this week: astonishing nature docuseries Earth at Night in Color, uplifting kids show Stillwater and Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

PSA: Apple TV+ gets festive with Mariah Carey and A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Charlie Brown Christmas
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ is getting into the holiday spirit with a number of family friendly new shows (and one beloved classic) arriving on the streaming service to kickstart the festive season.

The big two festive-themed debuts are the one-off Mariah Carey’s Magic Christmas Special (reviewed here) and the Apple TV+ debut of the 1965 animated television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. (The latter will also air on PBS and PBS Kids on Sunday, December 13.)

Stillwater will teach kids how to avoid meltdowns [Apple TV+ review]

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Apple TV+'s newest animated series Stillwater
A talking bear teaches kids life lessons in this new Apple TV+ show.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ continues its inspired streak of children’s fare with an adaptation of Jon J Muth’s Zen storytelling book series. Stillwater takes the central character from those books, a stoic and wise panda, and pits him against the foibles of three young kids.

Stillwater, which lands on Apple TV+ today, feels like a kind of classic PBS kids cartoon. It’s all about trying to prepare pipsqueaks for life’s disappointments by teaching them how to shift their perspective — and understand that some of life is beyond our control. There’s an awful lot to enjoy in this one.

Animated kids’ series Doug Unplugs and Stillwater premiering on Apple TV+ this autumn

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‘Stillwater’ seems to have a very Zen vibe to it.
Stillwater on Apple TV+ will teach kids life skills.
Photo: Apple

Coming soon to Apple’s streaming service are two animated shows for children. Doug Unplugs is from DreamWorks Animation and based on a successful book series about a young robot. And Stillwater, which is also based on a book series, stars a very wise giant panda.

Apple TV+ also revealed on Thursday that the second seasons of its children’s shows Ghostwriter and Helpsters will both premiere in October.