Apple TV + is set to launch on November 1st with nine original shows. Although the term “original” might be a misnomer here. See, a post-apocalyptic thriller starring Jason Momoa, is Apple’s answer to Birdbox. Dickinson draws on the “gothic teen drama” genre popularised by Riverdale and Sabrina. And The Elephant Queen is taking cue’s from Netflix’s award-nominated nature documentaries.
There’s really only one show making headlines for Apple’s new service: Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon’s The Morning Show. Between the star power and the topical dialogue (it centers around the #MeToo movement in the media), Apple must’ve known this show would be their hit. Maybe that’s why they reportedly paid $150 million per season.
Witherspoon is hot off Big Little Lies and her production company, Hello Sunshine, helped develop the show. However, it’s Jennifer Aniston that will likely be responsible for not only the success of The Morning Show, but the entire Apple TV + service.
After making some truly terrible comedies with Adam Sandler, Aniston is reemerging into the spotlight in a big way. Her star-studded 50th birthday party made headlines when ex-husband Brad Pitt joined the guest list. Witherspoon and Ellen Degeneres competed to be her best friend in a now famous segment on the Ellen Show. And the 25th anniversary of Friends this year has many of us revisiting her first iconic role.
The hype surrounding Jennifer Aniston truly exploded on October 15th, when the star decided to join Instagram. A cozy selfie of Aniston and her Friends co-stars practically broke the internet, earning a retweet on every entertainment source worth its salt. On November 10th, Aniston is set to receive the People’s Icon Award at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards.
The award says it all: Aniston is 2019’s icon. In a world where 90s nostalgia is trending and ageism is a dirty word, Aniston has found her sweet spot. She’s arguably never been more popular.
The Morning Show is being heralded as Aniston’s big return to the small screen. A true success story of a Hollywood golden-haired golden girl returning to her roots in the, appropriately termed, golden age of television. It’s no wonder Apple TV + has been promoting The Morning Show more enthusiastically than any of their other originals.
Jennifer Aniston is bringing authenticity, familiarity and warmth to an otherwise unremarkable streaming platform. Since Apple TV + has dramatically foregrounded The Morning Show, Aniston could be the central if not single reason for the platform’s success. A long-time spokeswoman for Smart Water, she seems to be taking on a similar role for an equally “smart” corporation.
Apple TV + is banking its success on The Morning Show, and The Morning Show’s success is built on Jennifer Aniston. Can one icon prop up an entire streaming service? The streaming subscription model says yes. The “binge-and-cancel” tendency begs to differ.
Only time will tell, which is why Apple’s early decision to order two seasons was likely a strategic one. We do know that Aniston’s unexpected appearance on Instagram was conveniently timed for Apple. It’s likely that her 15 million followers will be among the first subscribers to Apple TV +.
Apple TV + will launch on November 1st with The Morning Show and eight other originals. It will cost $4.99 a month.