Apple reportedly spending huge sums on "The Morning Show" while others falter

The Morning Show
The Morning Show (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • The Hollywood Reporter says "The Morning Show" is costing $300m to make.
  • It's already gone through one change of showrunner.
  • "Amazing Stories" has been delayed for similar reasons.

Apple TV+ is on the cusp of being a thing we can all watch and The Hollywood Reporter has a new report out which shines some light on the trials and tribulations of getting TV shows off the ground.

When the shows kick into gear on November 1 "The Morning Show" with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston will be the hero product. It's the show Apple is pushing the hardest and it's definitely the biggest show of the initial launch offerings. And it ought to be, with The Hollywood Reporter noting that it's costing huge sums of money to make. In fact, it's said to be costing $300 million for two seasons. And with so much riding on the show its showrunner Jay Carson was removed. And then it all really went awry.

In April 2018, Carson was ousted in favor of Bates Motel showrunner Kerry Ehrin. It had been 10 months since the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker had tapped Sony TV veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its Hollywood invasion. Now it was back to the drawing board for the show the duo wanted as their calling card. Apple — which, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, had been in heated arbitration alongside Media Res, Aniston and Witherspoon against Carson over his "created by" credit — was getting a crash course in the messy business of entertainment.

It isn't just "The Morning Show" that's had problems, either. Similar changes were made with "Amazing Stories" and "See" is said to be going the same way.

According to dozens of interviews across the industry, Apple CEO Tim Cook is experiencing his own learning curve despite hiring respected showbiz execs. But while there have been some missteps (in addition to Carson, Steven Spielberg anthology Amazing Stories parted ways with showrunners Bryan Fuller and Hart Hanson, and sources say the Jason Momoa sci-fi epic See will soon make a change at the top), the interest surrounding Apple's Hollywood debut remains high.

Expanding on "Amazing Stories," the piece explains that "creative difficulties" led to the removal of Fuller and Hanson. As a result the show is now set to miss the November 1 launch date, leaving Apple TV+ one big show short.

The corporate meddling has led to some creative differences. During early development of Amazing Stories, Fuller and Hanson received pushback from both Apple and studio Universal Television over what sources describe as their vision for an edgy, high-concept anthology. (One story would have followed a crazy cat lady murdered by her feline friends.) Though the show was meant to be part of Apple's launch slate, the departure of the producers delayed the project. Apple, interested in a more aspirational version of the show, opted to bring on Once Upon a Timeduo Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

The full piece is a great read and one I'd heartily recommend. There are some great insights into how the TV show industry works and how Apple is picking its way through the Hollywood minefield.

Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 per month for all the family when it comes online in November 1. Buyers of new Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Apple TVs will get a free year of access, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.