In brief: Talk of Apple launching a Netflix-style streaming service has been around since 2015, but the company has yet to unveil its plans. According to a new report, Cupertino is doing everything to keep the platform’s content family friendly; a policy that’s causing problems and further delays.
The Wall Street Journal writes that Apple’s quest to keep “gratuitous sex, profanity or violence” off the upcoming service has seen its own staff in Los Angeles refer to it as “expensive NBC,” and has resulted in the launch being pushed further back.
The WSJ writes that when Apple CEO Tim Cook was shown Vital Signs last year, a show based on the life of hip-hop star and producer Dr. Dre, he told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine that scenes of violence, cocaine use, and an orgy meant the company couldn’t show it.
There have also been issues with a drama based on a morning news show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, for which Apple paid more than $12 million per episode. The company's objections to some of the humor and its desire for a more “upbeat” tone has seen it replace the showrunner, which, along with Witherspoon’s scheduling issues, has resulted in production delays.
Last year, Apple set aside $1 billion to purchase and produce original content for its streaming service. The first big deal it signed was with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television company to bring back 80’s show Amazing Stories. But showrunner Bryan Fuller has left the reboot after Apple said it wanted a more family-friendly show, rather than the original “dark” vision.
Apple has, however, given the go-ahead to some “edgier” shows, including one from Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan about a couple who lose a young child—though it asked for crucifixes to be removed from the couple’s house, as religion and politics are taboo subjects, it seems.
Apple is known for keeping adult content off its app store, and it appears the company is taking the same approach with the streaming service. While the likes of Netflix, HBO, and Amazon aren't afraid to include sex and violence in their shows, it seems Apple is confident its sanitized approach will be just as successful.