Apple TV+ looks to future with early series renewals
James R | On 11, Nov 2019
Apple TV+ launched at the start of this month, launching a bid to take on Netflix and other subscription streamers with its own platform of original content. That late entry into the competitive VOD market has one key weakness compared to other new players Disney+ and BritBox: where they have in-built libraries and brands to capitalise upon, Apple TV+ has to build its own line-up from scratch.
It has secured a raft of big names to do so, from Jason Momoa in sci-fi series See and Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in newsroom drama The Morning Show to Ron D. Moore’s alt-history space race drama For All Mankind. But in order to make those investments cost-effective and to give audience a reason to invest, a one-and-done, test-the-water approach isn’t an option, and so Apple has already given a vote of confidence in its own development slate by renewing several of its original series only days after – or, in some cases, before – Apple TV+ launched.
For All Mankind, as we previously reported, will return for a second season, while See has also been renewed. Both of those are currently releasing episodes weekly, following an initial three-episode launch. The same release pattern is being used for The Morning Show, as Apple looks to build up audience buzz and anticipation over several months. The Morning Show will also return for a second run, with a two-season order given from the off for the programme. Emily Dickinson biopic Dickinson, which saw its first season released all at once on 1st November, has also been renewed for Season 2.
Apple has also reportedly renewed timely anthology series Little America and Hilde Lysiak drama Home Before Dark for sophomore runs.
Sources have told Deadline that Apple TV+ is happy with audience responses so far, with millions of views for the new shows racked up in their first week, boasting an average time of over an hour spent on the platform per viewer and most of those who tried the first episode of a series also going on to look Episodes 2 and 3.
With Apple TV+’s seven-day free trial ending for many over the weekend, the coming weeks will be the real test for the fledgling platform, with the added competition of Disney+’s launch in the USA giving the tech giant instant proof whether its new series can stand up to recognisable brands such as Star Wars.