Apple TV+ has Netflix to thank for its Magic Johnson documentary

They Call Me Magic
They Call Me Magic (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ docuseries They Call Me Magic will air on April 22.
  • Magic Johnson says his new series only came about because of the success of The Last Dance.
  • The Last Dance told the story of Michael Jordan's career.

The upcoming Apple TV+ docuseries They Call Me Magic might never have happened if it wasn't for Netflix and its Michael Jordan series, The Last Dance.

That's the story that Magic Johnson told following the screening of the new Apple TV+ docuseries during the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

Variety has the quotes.

"The reason we did it is because when Michael did 'The Last Dance,' my phone just started ringing," the former Los Angeles Laker said in a post-screening discussion. "They said, 'When are you coming out with yours?' And we got some great investors, great partners, great producers, and they really took it to another level."

Despite that, Johnson was apparently keen to make sure that his docuseries was its own thing rather than a carbon copy of Jordan's. And while Johnson says that The Last Dance was all about Jordan's achievements on the court, his own series is going to be different.

"[My family] said, 'What's gonna be different from you and Michael Jordan's [documentaries]?'" he continued. "And you can see. Michael — who I love, that's my dear friend — but ['The Last Dance'] was driven by his great accomplishments on the basketball court. [In 'They Call Me Magic,'] you're seeing my family, friends, everybody involved. You're going to see every episode be a different journey in my life. That's what makes me proud."

Jordan does make an appearance in the very first episode of They Call Me Magic, but those expecting a clone of The Last Dance are set to be disappointed. The new four-part series will land on Apple TV+ on April 22 so it won't be too long before we get to see what all the fuss is about for ourselves.

If you want to enjoy They Call Me Magic in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today.

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.