Viewers got a sneak peek of upcoming shows coming to Apple TV+, Apple’s newly unveiled streaming service, during the company’s live-streamed event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday. The stars and creators of the most highly anticipated projects like Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and “The Morning Show” from Reese Witherspoon appeared on stage to reveal more details about what people can expect, although many people felt like there were more questions raised than answers. Variety has a roundup of the upcoming shows slated to hit Apple TV+, who’s involved, and some major plot points.
The anthology reimagines Steven Spielberg’s 1980s original series, which veered between horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The new series will explore the the world’s wonders through the viewpoint of contemporary filmmakers, writers, and directors. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz of “Once Upon a Time” will act as showrunners, with Spielberg serving as executive producer, and Amblin TV and Universal TV behind the project as well. Edward Burns (“Public Morals”) will star in and executive produce an episode. During the Apple TV+ event on Monday, Spielberg said that “Amazing Stories” will explore “a universal human trait to search for meaning.” The director also teased that one episode of the series will dive into the story of a World War II pilot who transports through time.
“Are You Sleeping”
Our collective captivation with true-crime podcasts is at the center of the drama starring Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer. The 10-episode series is based on Kathleen Barber’s novel, in which a hit podcast reopens a cold murder case, and asks audiences to examine how public attention influences the search for justice. Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul, Ron Cephas Jones, Michael Beach, and more will star. Reese Witherspoon is executive producing from Hello Sunshine and Chernin/Endeavor Content.
The eight-episode drama features two Vietnam vets and best friends whose lives are turned upside down when the woman they both loved decades ago is killed by a car. Richard Gere stars in the title, which is based on an Israeli series. “Bastards” comes from Howard Gordon (“Homeland”) and Warren Leight (“Law & Order: SVU”).
Brie Larson Untitled Drama
The real-life experiences of CIA undercover agent Amaryllis Fox was the inspiration for the drama series, which will feature Brie Larson as Fox. It will chart the path of a young woman in the CIA and depict her various relationships. Larson is executive producing, and Megan Martin of “Animal Kingdom” will write the script.
Apple’s first international series, the English reimagining of a French series will take viewers into short stories brought alive by audio recordings of 911 calls and minimal visuals. The 10-episode drama is co-produced by CanalPlus.
The second season of the popular segment, which has seen big stars like Shakira and Sophie Turner singing their hearts out in the car, will return on Apple TV+. The program is a spinoff of a segment from James Corden’s “Late Late Show.”
“Bob’s Burgers” creator Loren Bouchard is now bringing to life Apple’s first animated series, in which a family of caretakers saves Central Park and the world. The show has been given a two-season, 26-episode order, and has a formidable voice cast which includes Kristen Bell, Daveed Diggs, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Tituss Burgess, Stanley Tucci, and Kathryn Hahn.
Damien Chazelle’s Untitled Drama
“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle will write and direct every episode of this top-secret series, which is still very much under wraps. Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger of “La La Land” will executive produce the drama from Media Rights Capital.
Chris Evans stars in the eight-episode drama as Andy Barber, a father who discovers that his 14-year-old son is suspected of killing his classmate. “Downtown Abbey” star Michelle Dockery will star as Andy’s wife, and Jaeden Martell of “IT” fame is set to play Jacob, Andy’s son. The limited series, based on the novel of the same name by William Landry, is headed by Mark Bomback (“Outlaw King”).
Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld stars as Emily Dickinson in the coming-of-age comedy story about the famed poet’s journey to find her voice. The show is expected to touch on issues like 19th century societal restrictions, gender, and family. In the teaser clip from the Apple event, Steinfeld is shown crying at the dining table in period costume. Jane Krakowski and Matt Lauria also star. Playwright Alena Smith, who has written for Showtime’s “The Affair,” penned the series. Shooting has been completed.
Apple is hopping on the train of the home-tour trend, with its first docuseries offering a glimpse into the world’s most innovative homes and the visionaries who created them. The 10 hourlong episodes come from Matt Tyrnauer (“Valentino: The Last Emperor”), Corey Reese of Altimeter Films, Matthew Weaver (“Chef’s Table”), Ian Orefice and Bruce Gersh from Time Inc. Productions.
Hilde Lysiak Untitled Drama
In the mystery drama, an 11-year-old Lysiak moves to the small lakeside town her father once resided in, and she uncovers a cold case that her father and everyone in town tried to bury. The 10-episode series is inspired by real life of young reporter Hilde Lysiak, who will be played by Brooklynn Prince (“The Florida Project”), with Jim Sturgess starring as Lysiak’s father. Dana Fox (“How to Be Single”) and Dara Resnik (“Daredevil”) created and executive produce the series, and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu will helm and executive produce the series.
“For All Mankind”
The anticipated space drama comes from “Battlestar Galactica” and “Outlander” showrunner Ron Moore, and is set in a universe where the space race never ended. Joel Kinnaman (“Altered Carbon”) stars as a NASA astronaut, and a clip shown on Monday depicts Kinnaman in his suit and a spacecraft making a rapid, disruptive landing on the Moon.
Also a space drama, “Foundation” steps into the world of Isaac Asimov, the influential sci-fi writer who penned the book the show takes inspiration from. In this world, humans exist on planets throughout the galaxy, which is all under the control of the Galactic Empire. David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman are co-writing the script for Skydance Television.
After hitting it out of the park with “The Big Sick,” the husband-wife team of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are going deeper into immigrant stories for the eight-episode half-hour episodic anthology. The series is written by the duo as well as Lee Eisenberg (“SMILF”), who acts as showrunner. Alan Yang (“Master of None”) will executive produce the series, based on true stories about immigrant experiences from Epic Magazine. Nanjiani appeared at the Apple event and said that the show touches on “the full range” of emotions, from funny to romantic to thrilling. Each episode is directed by either an immigrant or the children of one.
For the other “little” show on Apple TV+’s slate, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is collaborating with J.J. Abrams for the 10-episode half-hour dramedy. The series is a love letter to diverse voices in New York City, and focuses on the journey of finding an authentic voice in your early 20s. Abrams also teased on Monday that the show is a funny and romantic show that delves into the hard work behind a woman discovering her voice through music. Bareilles is providing original music for the show, but it has not been revealed if she will also appear on camera.
Currently in the pipeline, the drama takes its roots from Nathaniel Rich’s writing on climate change. One of his major pieces focused on politicians, scientists, and activists who tried to prevent climate change in the 1970s and ’80s. It’s unknown if the project will be scripted or unscripted.
M. Night Shyamalan Untitled Drama
The psychological thriller has finished filming, which is pretty much all we know at this point. The 10-episode series was created by Tony Basgallop (“24: Live Another Day”), who is executive producing with Shyamalan, the director of the project. Lauren Ambrose, Rupert Grint, Toby Kebbell, and Nell Tiger Free will star.
“The Morning Show”
The series, which already received a two-season, 20-episode order, was one of the highlights of the Apple event on Monday, with stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell appearing on stage to promote the show. The show follows “an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning.” The teaser clip shown at the event depicted Aniston confidently approaching the camera, and Carell with his head bowed. “We pull back the curtain on the power dynamic between men and women in the high-stakes world of morning news shows,” Witherspoon said at the event. “It’s seen through the eyes of two ambitious female characters.” Carell talked about his character, Mitch Kessler, a morning show anchor who struggles to be relevant in a shifting media landscape. “He is bold and dynamic. He has a lot of gravitas. He is a great listener,” Carell teased. “He is also relatable and extremely handsome. His colleagues love him, and America loves him.”
Mimi Leder is directing the series, and other actors who are set to star include Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crude, Bel Powley, Karen Pittman, Desean Terry, and Mark Duplass. “The Morning Show” is loosely based on the book by CNN correspondent Brian Stelter, who also consults for the show. Witherspoon, Aniston, and showrunner Kerry Ehrin are all executive producers.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends
Jennifer Garner is reuniting with her “Alias” creator J.J. Abrams for the drama series, based on the book by Amy Silverstein. The limited series focuses on the group of women who supported Silverstein when she was about to receive a life-saving heart transplant. Abrams is executive producing through his Bad Robot production company, along with Garner.
Oprah Winfrey Projects
Winfrey signed a multi-year content deal with Apple that includes scripted and unscripted content, podcasts, books, and apps. The entertainment mogul said she is working on two documentaries for Apple: “Toxic Labor,” which touches on workplace sexual harassment and assault, and an untitled project on mental health. Winfrey also teased that she’s building “the most stimulating book club on the planet” and that she will stream her conversations with authors.
The drama is set to be one of the most high-concept series that Apple is working on. Based on Min Jin Lee’s book, the eight-episode show will feature three languages — Korean, Japanese, and English — and have one of the biggest budgets among the Apple TV+ lineup. The show will start with a forbidden love, and expand into a sprawling tale taking place in Korea, Japan, and America that will explore themes around war, peace, love, loss, and more. Soo Hugh of “The Terror” will act as showrunner.
“Peanuts” Untitled Projects
Charlie Brown fans, rejoice. Apple is partnering with DHX Media, known for shows like “Teletubbies” and the “Degrassi” franchise, to develop new “Peanuts” content, including series, shorts, specials, and educational STEM material.
Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day Untitled Comedy
“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” star McElhenney leads the comedy, set in a video game development studio and which takes on the complexities of the human condition through funny and creative ways. F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, David Hornsby, Danny Pudi, Ashly Burch, Imani Hakim, and Jessie Ennis also star. Ubisoft produces the project, and McElhenney and Day will executive produce. The project has completed filming.
“Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight and “Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence are teaming up for the 10-episode drama set in the future. Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard will star in the series, which takes place centuries after a virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population and left all the survivors blind. Woodard revealed during the Apple event that the show will feature “evil queens, brave heroes and thrilling adventure.” In the teaser shown Monday, Woodard and Momoa are displayed in rugged, primitive-looking fur attire. “‘See’ asks the questions you may have already started asking: How much of my experience of the world is visual? Without sight, would it change who I am?” Woodard also said.
Sesame Workshop Projects
While “Sesame Street” won’t be included, Apple’s partnership with the educational arm of the iconic children’s brand will include a live-action and animated show, as well as development on a puppet series.
Also in the development pipeline, “Shantaram” follows an escaped prisoner from Australia who finds a new life in the underworld of Bombay, India. Eric Warren Singer (“American Hustle”) wrote the script and is producing the project.
Simon Kinberg Untitled Project
The “X-Men” scribe and “Dark Phoenix” director was given a 10-episode straight-to-series commitment for a sci-fi series, and has been touted as having a “large, large budget” with “ambitious” and “character-driven” qualities. Casting is reportedly in the process, and the global production is expected to begin this summer. Kinberg and David Weil will executive produce.
Basketball fans should look out for “Swagger,” which is inspired by Kevin Durant’s early career. Reggie Rock Bythewood wrote the series, which revolves around the Amateur Athletic Union League and the major players involved — the athletes, their families, and their coaches — whose motivations aren’t always pure. The drama series is produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Televison, and Durant’s Thirty Five Media banner.
“Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi is slated to co-write and direct a pilot based on Terry Gilliam’s time-traveling comedy film.
“You Think It, I’ll Say It”
The status of the project is currently unknown, as star Kristen Wiig dropped out, allegedly due to scheduling conflicts with the “Wonder Woman” followup. Curtis Sittenfeld’s book that the 10-episode show is based on is a collection of short stories exploring everything from judgment, missed connections, and gender roles. Colleen McGuinness (“30 Rock”) created the show, and Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine company was set to produce.
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