Hollywood producers talk about Apple's TV+ plans & 'The Morning Show' problems

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in General Discussion
Sources in Hollywood say that 'The Morning Show' was always going to be Apple TV+'s centerpiece but reveal its troubled history -- and comment on Apple's limited library, its television inexperience, plus its interference with shows.


"The Morning Show" (Photo: Apple)


When Apple TV+ launches on November 1, it will do so with only a handful of shows, but the now much-publicized "The Morning Show" will be at the center of its offerings. In the two years since Apple began work on this drama series, though, it has had problems.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "The Morning Show" production company and producer/stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon did not rate the first-draft script by showrunner Jay Carson.

It didn't help that the #MeToo plot element that now appears key to the series didn't feature at all, and that it was written at the time this movement appeared. Carson was soon replaced by the more experienced writer/showrunner Kerry Ehrin -- and then Apple got a taste of how different television is to technology.

Carson filed with the Writers' Guild of America to be credited as sole creator of "The Morning Show," a title which typically infers considerable financial benefits if the show is a success. Apple, Aniston, Witherspoon and their production company reportedly objected, but the WGA ruled in favor of Carson.






"The Morning Show" was not the only series to change its showrunner. Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" had such a change and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a similar move is soon to happen with "See."

Such changes and pressures are far from new to television production, but they may be new to Apple. For once, the company is relying much more on outside experience and facing new challenges.

"They didn't step in halfway," CAA TV agent Sonya Rosenfeld told The Hollywood Reporter. "They were smart to hire people who have spent their careers at the center of the TV business, and they didn't stutter start."

Apple also didn't skimp on budgets, either. "The Morning Show" reportedly costs $15 million per episode and Apple has a two-season deal which amounts to a total of $300 million. Similarly, "See" is believed to be costing Apple $240 million for two seasons.

The Hollywood Reporter also says that Apple is spending on the cast and crew talent, by giving every series regular and showrunner their choice of free Apple product.

Reportedly, Apple sends representatives to the sets of these shows to take orders. Unfortunately, says The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is also said to be sending representatives to sets in order to give orders.






Apple's interference is said to be why the original "Amazing Stories" showrunners left.

However, the company has seemingly not balked at adult language being used in "The Morning Show," so long as it is seen as essential to the storyline.

The Hollywood Reporter also says that Apple had a previous problem with adult-oriented fare, though, before this slate of Apple TV+ programming was created. Allegedly, Apple produced an entire series called "Vital Signs," created by Dr Dre, which has been abandoned over sex and violence issues.

Apple has not commented on the existence of "Vital Signs," nor did it contribute to The Hollywood Reporter's article.

Sources who did contribute on condition of anonymity, said that Apple's March launch event had been a disappointment. While it had a very strong lineup of cast and crew, it was light on details and footage -- and especially so when compared to Disney+. In April, Disney+ was announced with its large library and specifics about its cost.

"Everyone was feeling like Apple threw the best prom ever," said an unnamed producer with an Apple show. "Then Disney came out, and everyone realized, 'Maybe it didn't.'"

Apple TV+ launches on November 1, and will cost $4.99 per month.
15ngcs1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    We get it. Apple is Doomed.

    The Disney comparison is dumb. Of course Apple will have less original content than Disney. This is so dumb.

    If this report is true it's sad and maybe a reason Dr. Dre and Jimmy left. Vital Signs would have been the reason I subscribed. Snoopy in Space MAY have me subscribing voluntarily unless a new Apple TV releases I'll try the free year.
    StrangeDayscornchiplolliverleavingthebigg
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Interesting background - I have a little experience in this area and I don't think it's that unusual for successful shows to got through some degree of development torment before hitting production. All actors of Aniston's and Witherspoon's caliber typically give input and dig in if they don't like something about a potential production - their brand is on the line too if it comes off looking weak. Regarding authorship, it's often contentious - that's the nature of the game. I'll look forward to seeing morning show. As I've said before, I still don't understand how you can start a streaming service without other catalogs as Prime, Netflix and Hulu have in abundance.
    StrangeDaysyojimbo007
  • Reply 3 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

    Honestly not sure what the hubbub is about -- I hear about showrunner staffing changes on my favorite shows every season, as noted by this article it's not unique to the production companies producing the shows bought by Apple. As long as Apple has the money to buy and the staff to manage, I don't see this as being rocket science that is beyond their ability as a tech-oriented company. 
    cornchiplolliver15ngcs1
  • Reply 4 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    As I've said before, I still don't understand how you can start a streaming service without other catalogs as Prime, Netflix and Hulu have in abundance.
    Eh, the vast majority of Netflix and Amazon Video are pretty crap. It's the hits that convince people to pay. I don't see TV+ as being a direct competitor to Netflix since we plan to have both -- Netflix is the one streamer we keep year round due to an abundance of stuff (of varying quality), and TV+ is free/$5. So I imagine TV+ is going to focus on quality hits first, abundance later. Doesn't seem problematic to me at the free/$5 price point. A beer or coffee costs as much (more these days when it comes to a pint) as the entire month.
    edited October 2019 cornchiplolliver15ngcs1
  • Reply 5 of 16
    john f.john f. Posts: 108member
    Nothing new. The usual TV production affairs. Apple is no different in this than everyone else. Also, broadcast (network) television has to great extent been family friendly for decades. Is that a bad thing? Those include some of my favorite shows. Yes, Showtime, HBO, Netflix, eventually changed people's perception of what can be "TV". Still, I see nothing wrong with light entertainment with good stories. Hopefully Apple will bring the quality, and shows won't abruptly stop without a final episode, like is common on TV. Regarding catalogs, you will see that Netflix won't be able to get many old shows or movies, unless they pay a heavy price. And with everyone having their own streaming service, eventually Netflix will be left mostly with Netflix. Prime Video has some movies, but overall uninteresting. Hulu is a joint venture, but mostly Disney. So Apple + will probably bring classic network broadcast TV, with episodes becoming available each week. I'm okay with that.
    edited October 2019 StrangeDaysgenovellelolliverMichael335715ngcs1
  • Reply 6 of 16
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    As others have said, this article could have been written about any production. Every production has troubles but of course Apple's is magnified.
    lolliver15ngcs1
  • Reply 7 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,111member
    entertainment industry departures and arrivals, hissy fits. Yawn.
    I am more concerned about the claim “The Morning Show” is the centrepiece of Apple TV+.
    Michael3357
  • Reply 8 of 16
    At $5 a month, if even just one of the launch productions is quality it’s a no brainer for anybody who appreciates quality entertainment. And honestly, for all the money Netflix spends I wouldn’t hold them up as the bannermen of the budgeting to quality production ratio. It appears Apple would rather build a streaming service built on quality vs quantity and I find that refreshing. Their only true competitor in that regard is HBO and they’ve strayed from that path recently, and the AT&T ownership won’t be ushering in a golden age of quality anytime soon over at HBO. 

    Will it take some time to build out a stable of quality content? Yes. Will 12 months give Apple an opportunity to bring 30-50 productions to market? Yes. Will some not be hits? Yes. Does Apple care? No. As long as top flight producers, directors, and actors etc feel Apple is committed to making the best product possible (and take creative risk) rather than churning out content to just fill a production calendar Apple wins over time.

     Disney and the rest didn’t just get their content out of thin air, they needed time to create it. I’d say Apple is off to a pretty good start and they appear to be playing the long game here that many can neither visualize nor give them credit for. 
    edited October 2019 lolliver15ngcs1leavingthebigg
  • Reply 9 of 16
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    The Hollywood Reporter also says that Apple is spending on the cast and crew talent, by giving every series regular and showrunner their choice of free Apple product.

    Free, fully decked out Mac Pro?

    Somehow I doubt that, but that's what I'd choose, obviously, if I could. :#

    As for this behind the scenes drama, so what?

    As others have pointed out, this comes with the territory and is not exactly unusual in that biz.

    What matters are the final results and how the shows will eventually end up being. I look forward to testing out Apple TV+ and checking out a handful of the series that have caught my interest. I want to see high quality, good series, with no pc nonsense in them.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,268member
    john f. said:
    Nothing new. The usual TV production affairs. Apple is no different in this than everyone else. Also, broadcast (network) television has to great extent been family friendly for decades. Is that a bad thing? Those include some of my favorite shows. Yes, Showtime, HBO, Netflix, eventually changed people's perception of what can be "TV". Still, I see nothing wrong with light entertainment with good stories. Hopefully Apple will bring the quality, and shows won't abruptly stop without a final episode, like is common on TV. Regarding catalogs, you will see that Netflix won't be able to get many old shows or movies, unless they pay a heavy price. And with everyone having their own streaming service, eventually Netflix will be left mostly with Netflix. Prime Video has some movies, but overall uninteresting. Hulu is a joint venture, but mostly Disney. So Apple + will probably bring classic network broadcast TV, with episodes becoming available each week. I'm okay with that.
    And all the content pulled away from Netflix by content owners will stream right next to TV+ on Apple’s devices. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 16
    $5 a month it’s worth a try.  I find it wierd that “a morning show”. Could cost $300 million,  but “See” 240 million.  Usually it’s the sci-fi that draw people in and require big budgets.   Also I will be getting this day 1.  Really wanna watch the “See”.  Looks just incredible, and visually stunning.
    15ngcs1
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Netflix has become so bland,  we watch almost nothing on their.  Prime Video has a few really good shows,  but we don’t subscribe to the Prime to get Prime Video.  Apple TV,  if it can deliver quality over quantity will be much better for us personally.
    15ngcs1
  • Reply 13 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,172member
    Apple wasn't in the MP3 business and had limited experience in it...they pretty quickly took over the portable music player market. Apple wasn't in the mobile phone business and had limited experience and the iPhone was a major success. Apple wasn't in the tablet market and had limited experience, and the iPad took over the tablet market. Apple wasn't in the watch business and had limited experience and Apple Watch has taken over the watch market in general. 

    Never underestimate Apple, even if their products aren't an immediate success. How much success in the end does it take before people realize this?
    15ngcs1jguther
  • Reply 14 of 16
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,273member
    macxpress said:
    Apple wasn't in the MP3 business and had limited experience in it...they pretty quickly took over the portable music player market. Apple wasn't in the mobile phone business and had limited experience and the iPhone was a major success. Apple wasn't in the tablet market and had limited experience, and the iPad took over the tablet market. Apple wasn't in the watch business and had limited experience and Apple Watch has taken over the watch market in general. 

    Never underestimate Apple, even if their products aren't an immediate success. How much success in the end does it take before people realize this?
    Apple doesn’t make the content in this instance. They will have a few big hits and the rest will be forgotten. Not everything they are coming out with will be a huge success. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Netflix has become so bland,  we watch almost nothing on their.  Prime Video has a few really good shows,  but we don’t subscribe to the Prime to get Prime Video.  Apple TV,  if it can deliver quality over quantity will be much better for us personally.
    True for me too. For all the hype that is Netflix, I have not watched many Netflix originals. I have mostly watched old shows (because they are more fun and comforting), but I guess soon all that content will be pulled for separate streaming services. But most people still swear by Netflix. I only subscribe to Netflix every now and then, perhaps only a few months in the year to watch old Star Trek episodes, Friends, and such (only use the cheapest non-HD tier too). There are a few good shows on Prime Video (better than Netflix), but like you said you pay for Prime, and Video is an extra. So for me, if Apple can bring back some quality storytelling & entertainment, they will get my money. I'm okay with weekly "broadcast" of shows, as long as there are a few quality shows running at the same time. Heck, I don't have that much time to watch TV anyways. I always wonder how people have time to binge watch.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,172member
    macxpress said:
    Apple wasn't in the MP3 business and had limited experience in it...they pretty quickly took over the portable music player market. Apple wasn't in the mobile phone business and had limited experience and the iPhone was a major success. Apple wasn't in the tablet market and had limited experience, and the iPad took over the tablet market. Apple wasn't in the watch business and had limited experience and Apple Watch has taken over the watch market in general. 

    Never underestimate Apple, even if their products aren't an immediate success. How much success in the end does it take before people realize this?
    Apple doesn’t make the content in this instance. They will have a few big hits and the rest will be forgotten. Not everything they are coming out with will be a huge success. 
    Never said it would...I'm simply saying that everything new Apple does in a particular industry for the first time, the "experts" in that industry always put Apple down before they even start, or just after they start and it usually ends up with those experts eating crow in the end. 

    I don't think any content creator expects to have a every single thing released to be a hit. Some will and some won't. How many and which ones, we'll just have to wait and see. 
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