Apple is dipping its toe into the streaming company gold rush.
Rumors have been swimming around since last summer that the Silicon Valley giant would be entering the original TV show spotlight were confirmed today as it announced that it would be financing rapper Dr. Dre in creating his new series.
Vital Signs, described by The Hollywood Reporter as a “dark, semi-autobiographical drama (featuring at least one orgy),” will be a brief six-episode show encapsulating Dr. Dre’s life prior and possibly surrounding his ascent into a self-made musical empire. Each episode has been said to unfurl out of a single emotion, likely joy, anger, and maybe even outright depression. The plot itself will focus on how Dr. Dre’s quasi-fictionalized self will deal with each of them, surrounded by images of his real life that fans of the rapper may not yet know about him.
While Dr. Dre will star as himself, or even himself with a fabricated character name, two other actors have committed to the cast list–Sam Rockwell, best known for leading in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Lawn Dogs, and Mo McRae, who has appeared in Sons of Anarchy, Empire, and Murder in the First.
Unlike most celebrated dramas of today, namely Game of Thrones (roughly an hour long) and House of Cards (on average, the same), each one of these six episodes will run a compact thirty minutes. It is unclear for the time being just how abstractly or chronologically the style will be of the show, though the emotional focus suggests the first option.
One concrete scene, however, has already been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter to be filming this week in a grand Hollywood Hills mansion. The extras are already preparing themselves for the alleged orgy scene.
To take the lead on this project, Dr. Dre personally chose executive producer Robert Munic, most notable for his direction on Empire, to write and produce every episode this season–with Dre’s close eye on his “life’s” work, certainly.
Apple has slightly hinted that its premiere original show will be made available through Netflix, though it hasn’t been said when. The series may be evidence of more to come from the tech beast; this show is another example of Apple stamping its name on every marketplace it can lay a hand on, though its recent attempts into the TV world through Apple TV have fallen flat. Maybe now Apple has finally realized that the path to its desired consumer’s hearts is red-carpeted, as Netflix and Amazon have done. Both of those companies have been able to decorate themselves in numerous awards since their ventures into television began in 2013 with Netflix’s House of Cards and in 2014 with Amazon’s Bosch.
Unlike these companies, whose series have been entirely fiction and unrelated to their hosts, Dr. Dre has a storied connection to Apple. Since the giant purchased Dre’s Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the mogul is technically an Apple employee.
Apple, however, has made it clear that they won’t insert themselves into Dr. Dre’s creative process. They’re only the beneficiaries, not the producers.