Experts have predicted Apple is on the verge of challenging Netflix and Amazon in the world of original digital programming, the Washington Post reports. One source even tells the New York Post that Apple "has been having discussions all over Hollywood." But when the tech giant finally spilled the beans about its first original series on Thursday, it sounded more long-form ad than Jessica Jones or Transparent. According to the New York Times, Apple is producing a "nonscripted series about apps" to "spotlight the app economy." The Post is more blunt about it, stating Apple wants to use the series about app developers to increase interest in its App Store. Also, Will.i.am is involved in some way.
The idea for the show came from Ben Silverman, who is an executive producer on the CW's Jane the Virgin and Netflix's Flaked. "All these great developers haven’t yet had their stories told," Silverman tells the Post. "We thought it was perfectly tailored for Apple," Apple executive Eddy Cue tells the Times, though he cautions, "This doesn’t mean that we are going into a huge amount of movie production or TV production or anything like that." Not much else—title, episode length, release date—is known at the moment, other than that it will be some sort of documentary or reality series. The New York Post reports it will be distributed across all Apple devices. It's a far cry from what had been rumored to be the company's first original series: a semi-autobiographical scripted series from Dr. Dre called Vital Signs.