As the streaming wars near a fever pitch and viewers are targeted from every vantage point—Disney Plus has the Marvel and Star Wars brands! HBO Max counters with Game of Thrones and DC superheroes!—Apple TV Plus could be cast as the highly pedigreed and improbable underdog. While the venture counts Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg among its first wave of talent, Apple TV Plus launches Friday for $4.99 a month with just a handful of original programs, the AP reports. It also lacks a warehouse of old shows and franchise films that can reliably draw nostalgic viewers and produce spinoffs, such as The Mandalorian for Disney Plus and HBO Max's newly announced Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon.
Among the offerings: the Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon drama series The Morning Show; Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard in the futuristic drama See; Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson, a revisionist take on poet Emily Dickinson; a book-focused series from Winfrey; and the wildlife documentary The Elephant Queen. Upcoming fare includes Spielberg's revival of Amazing Stories; additional Winfrey projects; the psychological thriller Servant from M. Night Shyamalan, and The Banker drama series starring Anthony Mackie and Joe Morris. (More about the service, including how to get it free, here.)