What Is Apple’s Actual Release Plan For All Those Prestige TV Shows?

Not even the stars making the shows.

2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Inside
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It’s been almost two years since Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston were reported to be working on Apple’s first foray into prestige television, a drama series set in the wild world of New York City’s morning media. Since then, the aspiring streamer has continued to make regular announcements about equally exciting-sounding shows from equally high-caliber actors and producers—all without anything resembling a firm release date, or even a vague timeline.

And it’s not just impatient viewers, positively begging to see what creators like Oprah Winfrey, Octavia Spencer, and Steven Spielberg have in store for Apple’s broadcasting service, who are in the dark about when these projects will come to fruition. According to a new report from The New York Times, those creators are equally clueless.

Many of the Hollywood heavyweights with projects in the works at Apple, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told the Times that the tech company has been reluctant to give them updates on when or even how their productions will be released, what their marketing campaigns will look like, and how any other projects are going. Some said they’ve been given only ambiguous release dates like “later this year, probably fall.” All of this has reportedly left creators feeling uneasy about their partnership, and unsure that Apple actually has a set plan for unveiling its much-hyped streaming service. They—and everyone else who’s looking forward to seeing Brie Larson as an undercover CIA agent—are thus putting their faith in Apple’s March 25 presentation; invitations for the event reportedly included the tagline “It’s show time,” potentially implying that all will be revealed in just a few days.

That “all” will likely include not only the release schedule for Apple’s programming slate, but also a more comprehensive look at how, exactly, its streaming service will work. Per the Times, while original content is the company’s main focus, it has reportedly negotiated with HBO, Starz, and Showtime to fill out its offerings with syndicated content.

What we do know about the many shows in production over in Cupertino is that five are already done filming, about six others are very close to wrapping, and more than $1 billion has been spent crafting this star power-packed slate. Additionally, as was previously reported, Apple has a decidedly family-friendly approach in mind for its streaming service, opting out of anything too overtly political or featuring “gratuitous sex, profanity, or violence.”

To refresh your memory, here’s an exhaustive list of the apparently chaste offerings already in the works:

The aforementioned morning show drama starring Witherspoon, Aniston, and Steve Carell

  • Witherspoon and Spencer’s adaptation of Kathleen Barber’s crime novel Are You Sleeping?
  • A biopic series about Amaryllis Fox’s time as a young undercover CIA agent, starring Larson
  • Oprah’s multi-year contract‘s worth of undoubtedly inspiring content
  • Swagger, a sports drama inspired by Kevin Durant’s experiences as an up-and-coming basketball star
  • An untitled drama from Damien Chazelle
  • An adaptation of thriller novel Defending Jacob starring Chris Evans
  • J.J. Abrams’s two projects, one starring Jennifer Garner, and the other a musical series starring Sara Bareilles
  • One live-action and one animated show from Sesame Workshop, the masterminds behind Sesame Street, plus another series from the company about puppets
  • A host of series, specials, and shorts starring beloved Peanuts characters like Charlie Brown and Snoopy
  • A revival of NBC’s Amazing Stories, from Spielberg
  • Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. Moore’s alternate-history sci-fi series about the space race
  • A secret thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, starring Rupert Grint
  • Little America, an anthology series from The Big Sick‘s Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon about immigrants in America
  • A comedy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day
  • Central Park, an animated musical series from the creator of Bob’s Burgers
  • A docuseries about lavish homes from filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer, aptly titled Home
  • Playwright Alena Smith’s comedy series about Emily Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Jane Krakowski

Related: Apple TV’s Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston Project Will Likely Be Delayed