You can’t say that Apple TV + started off quietly. Except that Apple spent most of the year energizing it, the service was finally launched with just a few shows – and they weren’t huge successes.
This is not to say that the shows are mediocre or that they have not been recognized by the Golden Globes or the Screen Actors Guild.
Of the entire series of series that Apple TV + rolled out in its first two months, however, none of them has yet become successful. None of them have crossed that line to be talked about in mainstream media.
This is because, in most cases, it is one thing to have a good series like “Dickinson”. It is another to have one that is edited by many people. And it’s yet another to have a show that is part of the culture. In other words, there is no Baby Yoda on Apple TV + yet.
These obvious successes occurred more often when there were only ABC, CBS and NBC. And it’s incredibly rare now that we have hundreds of places to watch TV instead.
Only, if you can’t make a cultural icon, and if you can’t try to persuade enough people on your show, those two things depend on the quality of the series. And here, Apple is doing well.
Apple TV + has a lot of good series
Compare it to the September season of any broadcast network, and it’s actually quite remarkable how good the Apple TV + series are. The reason we all got so used to mid-season replacements in January is that so many launches in September would fail.
The definition of failure on network television, however, is and has always been entirely in the audience figures, not at all in the quality of the series. Very good shows died on the air before having found their audience. It could be such a quick and unforgiving process that ABC producer “Spear Hammer !,” creator Alan Spencer joked after his show was canceled during his first commercial break.
Now, if the sheer volume of choices means it’s harder to find an audience, Apple isn’t so frantically searching for the odds, it’s not trying to win its time slot against its rivals.
Apple knows exactly how many people a given show, but it doesn’t then try to provide that audience to advertisers. No one is planning to make a bad show, but if Apple TV + has a dud, it doesn’t have the same pressing reason to pull it off after a few episodes and burn the rest late at night in the summer.
The strange and poor series that is in the library of Apple TV + is not going to be a problem. Lots of bad series would. If everything you saw when you turned on Apple TV + was dud after dud, each bad show would be cumulatively damaging.
While it only takes one big show to succeed in a service.
Previously on TV
We forget that now, but “House of Cards” was not only a very good Netflix series, it was an advertisement for the service. The success of this unique show, the amount of buzz it has created, has raised the whole of Netflix and helped to point it out.
To a lesser extent, “Transparent” …