Today marks the first day of the Television Critics Association’s 2020 Winter Press Tour, a popular industry event where major networks show off their upcoming television lineups for the year, and while the roster is usually dominated by the big traditional networks like Fox, ABC, PBC, NBC Universal, and CBS, this year marks the first time that Apple will also be attending in order to promote its Apple TV+ shows.
In fact, not only will Apple be in attendance, but according to the TCA it’s scheduled to close out the event on Jan. 19, with the full day earmarked for Apple to present what it has in store for at least the first part of 2020.
The 12-day press tour kicks off today at The Langham in Pasadena, California, with Fox as the first presenter, and while the TCA Press Tour Schedule still doesn’t reflect Apple’s attendance, according to IndieWire it will be joining other streaming giants Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, which are already TCA mainstays, during the latter part of the conference. Meanwhile, Netflix continues to snub the event.
Apple, however, has made every indication that it plans to take its place in Hollywood seriously, and its getting ahead of the game by participating in the TCA Winter Press Tour before its streaming service is even three months old.
The company has already been racking up nominations for its new shows, and although it was shut out at the Golden Globes earlier this week, it was still a major coup for the nascent streaming service to have one of its shows nominated before it had even finished its first-season run.
What Could Apple Announce?
The TCA Winter Press Tour will be the first time Apple has promoted its television projects at a press event run by somebody else, and in its usual fashion the company hasn’t offered any hints about what it may actually be promoting when it takes the stage on Jan. 19, but we strongly suspect that we’re going to see at least one or two big surprises.
It’s a given that Apple will be showing off at least some of the 2020 shows its already announced, including the Rob McElhenney-led mockumentary, Mythic Quest; Raven’s Banquet and new documentary series, Visible: Out on Television. Apple is also expected to debut its anthology series of immigrant stores, Little America, on Jan. 17, but with the entire season landing two days before Apple makes its TCA appearance, and the episodes already available to screeners and critics, this seems unlikely to get much more than a passing mention.
While each of these three shows are undoubtedly solid in their own right, they definitely don’t seem like enough for Apple to fill a whole day of presentations, nor do they have the groundbreaking cachet of shows like The Morning Show and For All Mankind, so it’s all but certain that the company has something big up its sleeve, and this would be an ideal time for Apple to make a big splash by unveiling one or more of the bigger projects that it’s currently working on.
With all of Apple’s big drama series’ having likely wrapped filming on their second seasons, Apple could announce release dates for these, and of course it still has a few other blockbuster projects in the pipeline, including an epic series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy that has the potential to be Apple’s answer to Game of Thrones, the reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories anthology, and a CIA drama starring Brie Larson.
There are also the documentaries that it’s working on with Oprah, at least one of which seems like it should be ready fairly soon. While Apple could also choose to unveil some of its lighter fare at the event as well, we’re still thinking it will use this opportunity to make at least one bigger “wow factor” level announcement.
Apple has some other really big projects on the go as well, including Masters of the Air, a new instalment in the critically acclaimed Word War 2 “Band of Brothers” miniseries that’s being developed for Apple by the creators of the original, Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, but with that one having only been signed recently, it seems unlikely that Apple has anything to show yet, and it’s worth keeping in mind that the TCA also runs a Summer Press Tour, which will give Apple another opportunity to showcase what it has for late 2020.