The era of Peak TV, or perhaps too much TV, has not yet crested. November will see the launch of two new subscription premium services from heavyweight media outlets out to beat Netflix and Amazon at their own game.
The Apple TV+ service debuts, showcasing four new series. Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell star in “The Morning Show,” set in a network news magazine reeling from a sexual misconduct scandal. Will three big names and audience favorites be enough to attract viewers to an “inside media” genre that often leaves people cold?
“See” stars Jason Momoa as a blind hunter in a future dystopia where mankind has lost its sense of sight. Alfre Woodard also stars in this very high-concept fantasy.
Hailee Steinfeld stars in and produces “Dickinson,” as a very 21st-century, feminist and over-the-top take on the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson.
Blending alternative history and science fiction, “For All Mankind” envisions a Cold War space race where the Soviets beat America to the moon, sparking a new round of celestial competition. Created by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Outlander”).
Apple TV+ will be available as an app on any number of digital devices, PCs and smart TV devices. It needn’t be screened on an Apple or IOS platform. At $4.99 per month, it’s relatively inexpensive to sample. But its rollout is dependent on viewers really wanting to see these new series.
This is in contrast to Netflix, which already streamed thousands of movies and television shows when it got into the programming game with “House of Cards” in 2013.
Apple has a history of getting consumers to pay more for its products based on a reputation of great design and engineering. Apple product launches are often years in the making, treated as monumental breakthroughs and announced with great solemnity.
It’s not clear how that corporate culture translates to the realm of streaming and programming, where quantity often trumps quality and the need for more “product” inspires a “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” mentality. In many ways, television hits are a lot more difficult to conjure than $1,000 smartphones.
Apple TV+ arrives as consumers already seem bewildered by too many choices. And Disney+ launches on Nov. 12.
- Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan” returns for a second season.
- Timothee Chalamet, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Robert Pattinson and Ben Mendelsohn star in the 2019 epic “The King,” streaming today on Netflix, adapted from Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” parts 1 and 2, as well as “Henry V.”
- Now streaming on Apple TV+, “Oprah’s Book Club” interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates about his book “The Water Dancer.”
- Netflix launches a short four-episode season of “Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” set in Tokyo.
- Hulu launches the news magazine “Vice Investigates.” New helpings arrive every month.
- Five talented ensembles compete on “America’s Most Musical Family” (6 p.m., Nickelodeon, TV-G).
- Country music stars appear on “Nashville Squares” (7 p.m., CMT), a variation on a familiar game.
- Despite two convictions, a man found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife remains at large on “20/20” (8 p.m., ABC).
- Come and meet those dancing feet. “Great Performances” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) presents a revival of the musical “42nd Street.”
- A retired cop gripes about his benefits on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Stunt driver and legend Evel Knievel stars as himself in the 1977 thriller “Viva Knievel!” (3:15 p.m., TCM). A supporting cast includes Gene Kelly, Lauren Hutton and Leslie Nielsen as a drug lord!
A driverless car accident involves narcotics on “Hawaii Five-0” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... A master of biological weapons taps into something even nastier on “The Blacklist” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... “Friday Night SmackDown” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) ... The big 4-0 looms on “American Housewife” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-14) ...