Apple is, slowly but surely, getting into the TV game, and today we learn from The Hollywood Reporter that the company's first ever original TV series is now in the works. It's called Vital Signs, and it's said to be a semi-autobiographical scripted drama starring Dr. Dre, "with each episode focusing on a different emotion and how Dre’s character deals with it." Six episodes are reportedly in the works, with filming happening this week, and one episode will feature an "extended" orgy scene.
The series or its release date have yet to be officially announced, and it's only described as a "dark" half-hour drama.
Vital Signs will be available only on Apple Music, marking a move by Apple to promote the subscription service via original television content, and suggesting that Apple's long-rumored plans to create its own streaming television platform are less than immediate. 9-to-5 Mac notes that this is curious, but also suggests that the partnership with Dr. Dre is merely an extension of the company's existing relationship with the mogul, after they purchased his Beats headphone company in 2014. As of last summer, Dre also hosts a biweekly radio show on Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio called The Pharmacy, which he used in November to debut an unreleased track, "Naked."
Apple is certainly taking their time when it comes to revolutionizing how we consume TV, as many have expected them to for a number of years. The company made their upgraded Apple TV interface the focus of their big September product event last year, adding Siri-enabled voice-control to the TV remote, and adding universal search across platforms including Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGO.
Seven years ago the rumors began that Apple wanted to launch a subscription TV service, and almost a year ago the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would be launching a web TV platform by last fall that would take on not just Netflix and Amazon with eventual original content, but also cable TV overall, offering a condensed bundle of desirable channels including major networks.
Tech Insider reported yesterday that those plans are clearly on hold, noting comments by CBS CEO Les Moonves who said that he'd been in talks with Apple a while back, but that the company had "pressed the hold button" on their TV plans, as far as he knew.
Thus it looks like Vital Signs may be an experiment of sorts for Apple, and we'll all be waiting a while longer before we can toss our Comcast boxes.