If you were expecting Game of Thrones–type shows to come from Apple’s original video content push, you’re going to be disappointed. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple will not allow its upcoming shows to feature nudity, strong language, or violence. Instead, the company wants to focus on comedies and dramas like This Is Us and Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories that can appeal to a wider audience.
The decision, according to Bloomberg, has led producers and partners to label Apple as “conservative and picky,” and Apple’s recent moves have backed up that assertion. Earlier this year, Tim Cook delayed the release of Carpool Karaoke to remove “foul language and references to vaginal hygiene” from some episodes, according to the report. Recode says one of the episodes that featured comedian Chelsea Handler and singer Blake Shelton almost didn’t air because Cook thought the conversation was “too raunchy” for Apple’s viewers. The episode ultimately aired after it was edited.
Apple’s content decisions are one issue, but the larger one is where these shows will live once they’re ready to air. The company will no longer put its shows on Apple Music, as it did with Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, according to Bloomberg’s report. This is probably a good decision for the long-term success of its TV business, as the current shows have essentially been marketing vehicles to boost the subscription of its music service.
Where the shows will live is still up in the air, which should make things even more interesting for producers thinking about which service should get their shows. It seems like Apple still needs to iron out its TV plans — and with a $1 billion budget and an active team looking for new content, it needs to do it sooner rather than later.