Apple’s highly anticipated streaming service, Apple TV+, has arrived, along with a range of programmes boasting big-name stars.
It will go head to head with current contenders Netflix and Amazon, as well as soon-to-be-unveiled Disney+ and BritBox.
If this is the start of the streaming wars, then Apple’s army is made up of top-tier Hollywood talent. Among them are Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston — last seen together on Friends — in The Morning Show, about a daytime TV show struck by a “Me Too” scandal.
It also stars Steve Carell as the disgraced former anchor, a character reminiscent of fired NBC presenter Matt Lauer.
A show hoping to lure younger viewers away from the clutches of Netflix is Dickinson, a vibrant half-hour drama about American poet Emily Dickinson, which combines 19th century period details with contemporary dialogue. It stars Wiz Khalifa as Death and features music by contemporary chart-toppers such as Billie Eilish.
Elsewhere, Game Of Thrones actor Jason Momoa heads up the drama See, penned by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. Set 600 years in the future in a decimated America where human beings have lost the power of sight and have retreated to a new Dark Ages, the big-budget drama will be hoping to appeal to Thrones fans looking for a new favourite show.
For All Mankind
Also launching is For All Mankind, starring The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman, set in a world where the global space race never ended and the USSR made it to the moon first.
Still to come are new projects from creatives including Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Jon M Chu, and Apple is promising new original shows every month.
The service launched on Friday and will cost R84.99/month after a seven-day trial, allowing access for up to six family members.
One year of Apple TV+ is included when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or Apple TV through the Apple TV app.
It will also be available on smart TVs, streaming boxes and streaming sticks.