Now that Apple TV+ has an official launch date, Apple seems to be focusing more on promoting its new original shows inside of its TV app rather than on its YouTube channel. Users of the new TV app can already find eleven upcoming titles featured in the app, with eight listed as arriving on November 1st, the day the service launches, and another three that are simply listed as “coming soon.”
Apple previously shared trailers on its YouTube channel for its highest-profile productions, including For All Mankind, The Morning Show, Dickinson, and See. However, the company isn’t leaving its kids shows out of the mix either, with two new trailers for Helpsters and Ghostwriter that have been released via the shows’ pages in the TV app for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and on the web. It’s unclear whether these will also appear on YouTube at some point.
From the trailer, Ghostwriter is a reimagined reboot of the 90’s era kids mystery series of the same name. It was originally produced by the Children’s Television Workshop, now known as Sesame Workshop, and BBC Television to help teach literacy skills to elementary school children. The series ran for almost three years, telling the story of a group of friends who solve local mysteries with the help of an invisible ghost who communicates via manipulating text found on posters, papers, and in books.
It appears the Apple TV+ adaptation will involve a haunted bookstore that spawns fictional characters into the world which the group of four kids must team up to solve, with a mixture of CGI and live action used to illustrate fictional characters such as the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. While it’s not entirely clear from the trailer, we also wouldn’t be at all surprised if the ghost communicates with the quartet of crime-solvers via iMessage.
The other debut kids’ series is a more obvious result of Apple’s partnership with Sesame Workshop, with a very clear Sesame Street feel that features muppets who band together to teach young children how to solve everyday challenges.
Like Sesame Street, it appears the show will incorporate at least some real-life actors and real-world settings in which the muppets will interact, and of course it’s clearly going to be CGI-based rather than throwing back to the more traditional human-operated puppets.
Shows for the Whole Family
Both of these shows are expected to debut with the launch of Apple TV on November 1st, offering content for the whole family. Helpsters is rated TV-Y while Ghostwriter joins Snoopy in Space with a TV-G rating. It’s fair to say that Helpsters will be targeted more at pre-schoolers while Ghostwriter strikes us as aimed more at kids in the 8–12 range.
Of the other shows expected to debut on Apple TV+ in November (and shortly thereafter), only the documentaryThe Elephant Queen features a PG rating, while the dark comedy Dickinson is the only TV-14 show right now. The dramas For All Mankind,. The Morning Show, See, Servant, and Truth Be Told are targeted at mature audiences with a TV-MA rating, and the movie Hala is rated R. Note that ratings may also differ in other countries; for example, in Canada, Halais only rated 14A, and For All Mankind is 14+ (equivalent to TV-14).
As with purchasing movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store, parents will be able to use to the parental controls available in the iOS 13 Screen Time settings to determine what Apple TV+ content is available to kids through the TV app.