Apple TV+ to develop series about Negro Baseball League

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2021
Apple TV+ is developing a new drama series focused on baseball legend Leroy "Satchel" Paige and the Negro Baseball League, according to a new report.

Credit: Variety
Credit: Variety


The Cupertino tech giant has acquired the rights to adapt nonfiction title "If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige" by Donald Spivey. Variety reported Tuesday that the series will explore the story of Negro League Baseball through the life and legacy of Paige, a legendary athlete and showman.

Paige is an iconic baseball player and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. He played on a number of teams in both the Negro Leagues and for Major League Baseball.

Apple and Kapital Entertainment will both produce the series, which will be made in partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The project is also being supported by Major League Baseball.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson is set to produce alongside Peter Guber, Ron Shelton, John Mass, Jason Smith, and Kapital's Aaron Kaplan, and Dana Honor.

If the project moves forward at Apple Studios, it will join existing sports series "Ted Lasso," which has won numerous awards for Apple TV+.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Nonfiction?

    I’m in.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    i'm intrigued by Apple's television strategy. It seems to me that for years and years they tried to implement some variation on the model that proved so successful in regards to the music industry and the iPod, but it became clear that simply wasn't going to happen. According to me, the stakes were much too big and the players much too savvy to let Apple distribute their content to their users (and take a fat cut...) on terms that Apple would find agreeable. 

    So now Apple has decided to create their own studio and build it into something. There's certainly precedents for this, however imperfect they may be as analogues. For instance, Fox and WB and Paramount... but all of them started out as film studios and of the three only Fox has made any major impact in the television business. On the third hand, all of these were still working through the traditional network+local TV station affiliates model and none of these were putting the equivalent of a TV in over a billion people's hands that could also act as a distribution channel that could favor their own content.

    Apple has been turning out a lot of quality television but it is still barely an also-ran alongside major streaming players such as Disney and Netflix. So clearly spending money on the best talent and the best content is only part of the recipe for success. Simply building up a treasure trove of content to build the brand in such a way that it occupies the same mindspace as a Disney can take decades. Apple can certainly afford to do that, but I keep finding myself wondering what the long game is here. Does Apple eventually acquire a major studio once it has established itself as a heavyweight studio in its own right? Or do they simply keep building the brand as a service known for premium quality and blockbuster series as HBO did for years and years until it was acquired, until people are motivated to continue paying $5/mo (and eventually more) once their free sub runs out?
    edited June 2021
  • Reply 3 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    i'm intrigued by Apple's television strategy. It seems to me that for years and years they tried to implement some variation on the model that proved so successful in regards to the music industry and the iPod, but it became clear that simply wasn't going to happen. According to me, the stakes were much too big and the players much too savvy to let Apple distribute their content to their users (and take a fat cut...) on terms that Apple would find agreeable. 

    So now Apple has decided to create their own studio and build it into something. There's certainly precedents for this, however imperfect they may be as analogues. For instance, Fox and WB and Paramount... but all of them started out as film studios and of the three only Fox has made any major impact in the television business. On the third hand, all of these were still working through the traditional network+local TV station affiliates model and none of these were putting the equivalent of a TV in over a billion people's hands that could also act as a distribution channel that could favor their own content.

    Apple has been turning out a lot of quality television but it is still barely an also-ran alongside major streaming players such as Disney and Netflix. So clearly spending money on the best talent and the best content is only part of the recipe for success. Simply building up a treasure trove of content to build the brand in such a way that it occupies the same mindspace as a Disney can take decades. Apple can certainly afford to do that, but I keep finding myself wondering what the long game is here. Does Apple eventually acquire a major studio once it has established itself as a heavyweight studio in its own right? Or do they simply keep building the brand as a service known for premium quality and blockbuster series as HBO did for years and years until it was acquired, until people are motivated to continue paying $5/mo (and eventually more) once their free sub runs out?

    Apple’s streaming service is doing fine and will continue to get better.

    What pisses me off it that they’re ignoring a gigantic monster they own: iTunes. It has virtually every video under one roof and it’s being ignored so bad that I often hear people complain that they can’t find some rare DVD and it’s sitting there on iTunes for 10 bucks.
    ronn
  • Reply 4 of 5
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,036member
    I really don't like corporate woke posturing and virtue signaling, and that is not what this is.  This is a very excellent and interesting subject and I am excited to see it.  It's a continuation of Apple's generally successful (in my view) effort to thread the needle and appeal to most people regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum with high quality content.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    ronnronn Posts: 669member
    I'll watch as I was obsessed with Satchel Paige and the Negro Leagues as a kid. Discovered I was related to a former owner of the Kansas City Monarchs. A professor of mine got a ball signed by several Negro League players for me after I told her of my family ties to the Monarchs.
    tmay
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