Apple TV Plus: Will comedy get a big cut of the $1 billion pie?

Apple CEO Tim CookApple TV Plus is now official! Apple already has plans to spend a reported $1 billion in original content from Kumail Nanjiani, Steve Carell, James Corden, and other celebritiesApple CEO Tim Cook announced the new streaming content service at the company’s It’s Show Time keynote address on Monday. The company does not seem like it will ease slowly into the streaming game. Apple TV Plus will launch this fall.

While $1 billion is just a fraction of Netflix’s reported $15 billion original content budget for 2019, it is also a huge amount of money being made available to original storytellers. If the service is to compete directly with Netflix, stand-up specials and comedy series are a natural route for Apple to eventually pursue. After all, one of Apple’s initial dabbles into original programming was comedian James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke: The Series.

Tim Cook announces big plans for Apple TV Plus

Some of the biggest names in entertainment are working with Apple to develop content that will surely compete with Netflix’s stranglehold on the industry. Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and more appeared at the event to add prestige to the venture and announce their own projects with Apple.

In addition to talent, Apple is investing heavily in entertainment executives. Apple poached Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht from Sony Pictures Television to lead the streaming project. The two veterans apparently gave Apple “overnight status” for its content and have been working relentlessly with Hollywood agents and studio executives. Now comics will have another huge platform to turn to as they pitch their projects.

Many of comedy’s favorites are also working with the multi-billion dollar company.

Apple TV snags Steve Carell, Kumail Nanjiani

Steve CarellCarell, with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, appeared in front of the audience to announce their new drama, The Morning Show. The show is about the men and women on morning television.

The Big Sick’s Nanjiani presented his show, Little America. The series will tell the true stories of immigrants in the United States. The show is a collaboration between Nanjiani, his wife Emily V. Gordon, Epic Magazine, and Lee Eisenberg.

Filmmaker J.J. Abrams and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles also appeared to announce their “funny” and “romantic” show Little Voice. Their comedy/drama series will explore the world of struggling musicians in New York City.

While not specifically announced at the event, several other original comedy series are apparently in the works that range from time travel to an animated Josh Gad series.

Rob McElhenney from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will star in a yet-to-be-titled comedy series about a video game development studio. Charlie Day, also from It’s Always Sunny, will executive produce the show with McElhenney.

30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski will star in a comedic coming-of-age series about Emily Dickinson as she struggles to fit in with the 1800s. Young upstart Hailee Steinfeld will play the lead role in the eponymous Dickinson.

Mary Stevens

Mary Stevens is a stand-up comedy enthusiast. She is a huge fan of live stand-up comedy and produces a show in her backyard in Hermosa Beach, CA. Her show has featured comics from Netflix, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime and SNL, as well as up-and-coming comics. She is active on Twitter and Instagram @hermosabchmary.

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