Apple aims to debut TV slate in 2019, sans any HBO-style risque content

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2017
Apple is reportedly aiming to have a "small slate" of TV shows ready to debut in 2019, but with sanitized content devoid of the violence, profanity, and/or nudity allowed on networks like HBO and Showtime.




The first few shows will be available to "everyone with an Apple device" rather than just Apple Music subscribers -- possibly via the "TV" app for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, Bloomberg said on Wednesday. Accordingly the company is said to be turning down show pitches with anything like risque content, such as an eight-part series by "Children of Men" director Alfonso Cuaron, starring Casey Affleck.

Apple executives "don't want kids catching a stray nipple," Bloomberg said. The site noted that many producers have begun labeling Apple as too conservative, and indeed its rumored reboot of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" is unlikely to have any controversial material.

The company's conservative attitude may have contributed to the delay of "Carpool Karaoke," which eventually came to Apple Music in August. Just days before a planned April premiere, CEO Tim Cook reportedly ordered cuts of "foul language and references to vaginal hygiene." The company also shot more episodes, though, and diverted some resources to another show.

Instead of something like "Game of Thrones" or "Breaking Bad," Apple is said to be angling for shows with a wider demographic, akin to NBC's "This Is Us."

Apple is expected to spend $1 billion or more on shows during the next year. Some of these should be international endeavors, as evidenced by recent hiring including former Channel 4 executive Jay Hunt.

A conservative stance would explain the absence of "Vital Signs," an Apple-commissioned show starring rapper, producer, and now-Apple executive Dr. Dre. First reported in Feb. 2016, the show has been described as a dark drama with plenty of sex and violence, even including an orgy scene.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    If they offer shows for free they will
    instantly have the biggest TV platform day one which makes sense to tone down violence etc.

    but this can backfire in the future as frustrated creative directors leave for freedom and adult viewers opt for Netflix/HBO instead. Not sure what the solution is here....
    RacerhomieXrepressthislolliver
  • Reply 2 of 62
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 280member
    Oh boy. Sans risqué subject matter?

    Oh boy. 

    Good luck with that.
    allmypeopleminicoffeerepressthisanantksundaramtrashman69[Deleted User]
  • Reply 3 of 62
    Hollywood is already stifled with political correctness which has morphed into SJW nonsense and people are tuning out. Often the more edgy the content, the more successful it is... TWD, GoT, Mad Men... the entire HBO lineup, really. If Apple goes the Disney/kids route, I think it'll do well. If what they produce is as lame and uncool as Carpool Karaoke, I think it will and hope it bombs.
    entropyslkrupptrashman69
  • Reply 4 of 62
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Hollywood is already stifled with political correctness which has morphed into SJW nonsense and people are tuning out. Often the more edgy the content, the more successful it is... TWD, GoT, Mad Men... the entire HBO lineup, really. If Apple goes the Disney/kids route, I think it'll do well. If what they produce is as lame and uncool as Carpool Karaoke, I think it will and hope it bombs.
    Sorry but Carpool Karaoke is cooler than GoT in the real world. I’m not dissing the latter but you have to realize most pop culture icons are fun and slightly corny.

    Carpool Karaoke could use a lot more advertising etc. but it’s definitely not “uncool” to the public’s eyes. 
    racerhomieoneof52lkrupprepressthislolliver
  • Reply 5 of 62
    Thank You Apple for trying to stay classy & not going crazy liberal with your content. We have enough Porn already in the world. A show, with good story, acting & look will do just fine.
    lolliverbuzdotsbakedbananas
  • Reply 6 of 62
    IMO, this just sounds like Apple isn't going to produce what would typically be considered R rated material. Does it prevent them from having shows that appeal to adults? No. Does it prevent them from being creative? No. 
    mike1entropysStrangeDayslolliverbuzdotsbakedbananas
  • Reply 7 of 62
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,503member
    Steve was rather vocal about users of Apple devices being able to avoid being exposed to porn, so perhaps this is still just Apple being Apple.

    Hollywood is already stifled with political correctness which has morphed into SJW nonsense and people are tuning out. 
    What does this mean? 


    StrangeDayslolliverbakedbananas
  • Reply 8 of 62
    I've often wondered how Apple would reconcile it's clean imagine, with doing successful/appealing TV context. These kind of "wholesome and educational for the whole family" things have a market and a place, but I don't think these are what pull in big audiences. It means Netflix and Amazon will continue dominate original content.

    I think Apple needs to form a subsidiary for this stuff, so that Apple isn't identified directly with the content produced. This would provide more artistic freedom, rather than being slaves to some squeaky clean image they feel is necessary to promote their hardware.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 62
    Why learn from mega successful shows like GOT, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Wire.... More Planet of the Apps, please!
  • Reply 10 of 62
    The whole point of web TV is that it offers niche programming - which make more adult themes and larger story arcs possible. This has meant that TV is now the new cinema. While there may be a place for this stuff, perhaps as a sweetner to Apple music, it wouldn't be appealing by itself. They've just employed the old controller of BBC1, which might indicate Apple's direction of travel. Largely the BBC has become more influenced by other providers, doing some co-productions with Netflix. In the 80's though, the BBC produced some challenging programming and its offerings have become more bland in the last few years. If Apple is becoming a media company, self-censorship isn't a great way to begin. It would be more exciting if they were ushering in an exciting and experimental period and where trying to push the medium in the way they did with their products. 
  • Reply 11 of 62
    HBO and others notoriously use sex simply because they can, not because it moves the story along better than without it, but rather because they're allowed to do so when others are not. As for violence, well, that's a personal preference I for one would enjoy viewing less. You don't have to eliminate sex/violence entirely, a good director knows that you don't have to flaunt the graphic details of either in order to tell a story including one or both.

    As for profanity, ffs, let's stop ignoring real language in use today by real people in the real world.

    The problem with creating programmes so inoffensive such that children could view them is that you create children's content and a child's view of life in adult programmes. Sanitised language means vapid characters speaking insipid dialogue, and then they throw in some moralising just to spice things up a bit.

    Thanks, but don't the networks provide enough of that drivel?

    Yes, HBO and others indulge in gratuitous sex/violence/profanity, that's undeniable, but they also are creating some of the best programmes out there, and that's also undeniable. As for great programming coming from network television of late??? There's a reason people have turned to these other content producers, Apple shouldn't lose sight of that lest they ignore a huge segment of their customer base.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    holyoneholyone Posts: 393member
    Though this is just a rumor I can see it being true, I said this when all this Apple original content nonsense started. So no programs that don't align closely with Tim Cook's personal and/or political views hah ? No suprise
    Thank You Apple for trying to stay classy & not going crazy liberal with your content. We have enough Porn already in the world. A show, with good story, acting & look will do just fine.
    True, but there wouldn't be so much if no one wanted it. Having tech people dictate to entertainers how to do their jobs is the sure quickest way to kill entertainment, I doubt Apple would take kindly to talk show hosts telling them how to make their cameras.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,540member
    I haven't been a big fan of Apple "betting big" on original programming, for this very reason.  There is certainly an audience for the family and kid friendly content, but it is limited, and the content doesn't have as much cultural appeal as the GoT, Sopranos, etc.  If the rumours have validity, then Apple might be trying to be "more squeaky clean" than Disney.  

    IMO, Apple would have more relevance, drive more engagement, and earn more services revenue if they focused on developing an offer from current iTunes Movie & TV content.  Some options/thoughts:
    - Make it have an element of subscription.  Example: for $10/month, you get one free movie rental per month + discounts on each rental.  Say discounted rentals for movies are $2.99 - $3.99 (vs. $4.99-$5.99).
    - Extend the rental period to at least 3 days (72 hours).  Ensure you can watch that rental on any device under that AppleID membership
    - Develop a rental service for series that does not include the "current season" (cheaper than the Season Package of purchase).  Make the catchup on series much easier and economical.  People are far more likely to rent than buy, and if brings them up to speed, perhaps more likely to increase viewership of current season shows.  Rental for each show would be the 72 hours (not the series:)
    - Provide discounts for purchases (e.g. 20% discount on purchase while a subscriber).
    - Into this you can bring the Apple content (e.g. you can get it included with Apple Music, or it can be included in this "iTunes Bundle" service).

    These are just some thoughts - not what I expect Apple to do.  The point is to outline how Apple could make a compelling video content service. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 14 of 62
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,981member
    This is essentially the Disney approach.
    entropys
  • Reply 15 of 62
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,885member
    Yes, of course they plan to be the next Disney, or at least be Disney style. It isn't as though the GoT style stuff won't be avaialable on an Apple device, like it already is, it is that Apple itself won't produce it. More is at stake than Apple's fillum rep.
    StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 16 of 62
    holyone said:
    Though this is just a rumor I can see it being true, I said this when all this Apple original content nonsense started. So no programs that don't align closely with Tim Cook's personal and/or political views hah ? No suprise
    Thank You Apple for trying to stay classy & not going crazy liberal with your content. We have enough Porn already in the world. A show, with good story, acting & look will do just fine.
    True, but there wouldn't be so much if no one wanted it. Having tech people dictate to entertainers how to do their jobs is the sure quickest way to kill entertainment, I doubt Apple would take kindly to talk show hosts telling them how to make their cameras.
    I have seen the crap being done with no oversight.
    We get fake news from CNN ,WaPo & NYT.
    Late night shows too.
    I like Apple’s & Disney’s approach.

    lolliverbakedbananas
  • Reply 17 of 62
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,198member
    So in other words, this will be liking watching the Hallmark channel. No thank you. 
    williamlondonanantksundaramtrashman69
  • Reply 18 of 62
    Apple is full of it regarding shying away from explicit content in its programming. Sure, they ban porn apps, they would prefer not to distribute video programming with explicit content ... but Apple's streaming product Apple Music is chock full of explicit lyrics containing everything from base, vulgar language to racist epithets and depictions of general physical, emotional and sexual violence.

    Get real, Tim Cook!
    anantksundaramtrashman69[Deleted User]
  • Reply 19 of 62
    Thank You Apple for trying to stay classy & not going crazy liberal with your content. We have enough Porn already in the world. A show, with good story, acting & look will do just fine.
    There’s plenty of ways to offer liberal content that isn’t gratuitous sex and/or violence.
    williamlondonbakedbananas
  • Reply 20 of 62
    qwwera said:
    Oh boy. Sans risqué subject matter?

    Oh boy. 

    Good luck with that.
    Yes, it's not like there are multiple channels of content for multiple people to chose from, is there!? And that the vast majority of them are PG... Even AMC's Breaking Bad didn't have any risqué sexual content. And that's fine. Nobody in their right mind would expect Apple to be identical in tone to HBO. It's Apple, not HBO.

    Are you predicting doom for Disney, too? No risqué content, lame right!?
    king editor the gratelolliverbakedbananas
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