Apple Shares Trailer for Short Film ‘Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth’

Apple today shared the trailer for "Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth," an upcoming Earth Day-themed short film that's set to premiere on Friday, April 17, a few days ahead of Earth Day.


The animated short is based on best-selling children's book of the same name by Oliver Jeffers, and it will be narrated by Meryl Streep.
On the eve of Earth Day, a precocious seven-year-old learns about the wonders of the planet from his parents--and a mysterious exhibit at the aptly titled Museum of Everything. Based on the best-selling children's book by Oliver Jeffers. The all-star voice cast includes Chris O'Dowd, Ruth Negga, Jacob Tremblay, and Meryl Streep.
"Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth," which is aimed at children, joins several existing Apple TV+ shows for kids, including "Ghostwriter," "Helpsters," and "Snoopy in Space."
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Watch the Trailer for British Series ‘Trying’ Ahead of Apple TV+ Debut on May 1

Apple today released the official trailer for the "heartfelt" and "hilarious" British comedy series "Trying," available to stream on Apple TV+ starting May 1.


Apple's description of the series:
"All Jason and Nikki want is a baby. But it's the one thing they just can't have. Starring Rafe Spall and Esther Smith, "Trying" is a new comedy series about growing up, settling down and finding someone to love.
The series, which hails from BBC Studios and is written by Andy Wolton, will be the first original series from the U.K. to debut on Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ is accessible through Apple's TV app on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, as well as online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Apple says its TV app will be available on select Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year.
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Apple Shares Trailer for Upcoming Apple TV+ Show ‘Defending Jacob’

Apple today shared the first trailer for "Defending Jacob," an upcoming Apple TV+ show focusing on a murder where a district attorney's son is arrested as the main suspect.

In this gripping, character-driven thriller, a shocking crime rocks a small Massachusetts town and one family in particular, forcing an assistant district attorney to choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son.
"Defending Jacob" is based on the novel of the same name written by William Landay. It stars Chris Evans, best known for his starring role in the "Captain America," films and Michelle Dockery, known for "Downton Abbey."

Jaeden Martell ("Knives Out" and "It Chapter Two"), J.K Simmons ("Oz" and "Counterpart") and Cherry Jones ("Signs") also have roles in the show.

"Defending Jacob" is set to premiere on ‌Apple TV‌+ on April 24.
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Oprah Talks COVID-19 in New Apple TV+ Series, No Subscription Required

Apple has launched "Oprah Talks COVID-19," a new free to view Apple TV+ series where Oprah holds remote discussions with leaders and those personally affected by COVID-19.


The series, first announced on Twitter by Oprah, examines the vast amount of stress and uncertainty some may have amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a result of remote discussions, the goal of the series is to help generate hope and insight among viewers in times of hardship. The show's premise reads:
How can we mindfully move through a crisis while holding on to ourselves and our humanity? In the series, Oprah has remote conversations with experts and everyday people to provide insight, meaning, and tangible advice for the human spirit.

The first episode features a remote discussion between Oprah with actor Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre. Elba has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and remains in self-isolation with his family.

"Oprah Talks COVID-19" is able to be streamed for free now without an Apple TV+ subscription.

‌Apple TV‌+ is available through the ‌Apple TV‌ app on iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, Mac, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, as well as online at tv.apple.com. The streaming service costs $4.99 per month in the United States, with a seven-day free trial available.
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Apple TV+ Streaming Quality Lowered in Europe to Reduce Network Strain

The European Union has asked streaming services to temporarily reduce streaming quality to ease the strain on broadband networks caused by people working from home, a request that Netflix, YouTube, and now Apple TV+ have complied with.


Netflix cut streaming data bitrates yesterday, while YouTube reduced streaming quality this morning. According to 9to5Mac, ‌Apple TV‌+ streaming quality was recently lowered as well, resulting in lower resolution streams and heavily compressed content with visibly blocky artifacts.

9to5Mac says that the lowered quality is "very noticeable," especially on larger-sized television sets, and quite a departure from the 4K HDR content that Apple normally offers. Resolutions are said to be as low as 670 pixels tall.

Compared to other services like Netflix that have also lowered quality to save data, Apple's streaming quality is described as "particularly aggressive" and akin to the kind of quality one might expect from "streaming on a phone over a 3G network."

At the current time, streaming content providers have only been asked to lower streaming quality in Europe, so the lower streaming rates do not affect the United States and other countries. The United States has not called on streaming content providers to implement data reduction measures.

It's not clear how long Apple plans to stream with reduced quality and whether tweaks will be made for a better compromise between quality and data usage. Netflix has said that it will continue using the lower quality stream for the next 30 days.
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Apple Delays ‘Beastie Boys Story’ Theater Release Due to Coronavirus, But Apple TV+ Launch Still Planned

"Beastie Boys Story," a Spike Jonze documentary on the Beastie Boys that has been picked up by Apple, has had its theatrical release date delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and the closure of many theaters across the United States.


According to Deadline, a new theatrical release date will be announced at a later date, but Apple is still planning to stream the documentary on Apple TV+ starting on April 24.
"Our highest priority is the health of our audiences and employees, as well as their families and communities," said an IMAX spokesperson in a statement given to Deadline. "Given the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting theatre closures nationwide, we have decided to postpone the theatrical release of 'Beastie Boys Story' to a later date, which will be announced as soon as possible. IMAX ticket holders can receive a full refund by contacting their local theatre. Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze, will premiere on ‌Apple TV‌+ on April 24."
"Beastie Boys Story" is described as a live documentary experience focusing on the history and legacy of the Beastie Boys and their personal stories. It is based on the "Beastie Boys Book," which was published in October 2018, and will feature band members Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz discussing their long-running friendship and rise to fame.

Many theatrical releases planned for the near future have been postponed. "A Quiet Place 2" is no longer coming out in March, and Disney has pushed back the release of "Black Widow" and "Mulan."
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Apple Employee in Culver City, California Has Coronavirus

An Apple employee who works at Apple's Culver City campus, where its Apple TV+ and Apple Music efforts are headquartered, has tested positive for coronavirus, reports Billboard.


Employees at the Culver City office were notified about the infection on Saturday, but as of today, the campus remains open.

Apple has asked all of its employees with positions that allow them to work from home to do so in an effort to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus, but there are some employees who are not able to work remotely.

A recent report suggested that Apple's guidelines around product secrecy have made it difficult for some software developers working on sensitive products to bring their work home, as they are prevented from accessing important internal systems outside of Apple's campus.

This has led to many engineers continuing their work at Apple's campuses, and there are likely other employees in similar situations at other Apple campuses and offices worldwide, such as the Culver City location.

Culver City is known as a headquarters for movie and television production, and many major studios are located in the area. Apple's video content team works out of its Culver City offices, as does its ‌Apple Music‌ team.

Last week, an Apple employee who worked at a Santa Monica Apple Store contracted coronavirus, and Apple has since shut down all of its retail locations for the next two weeks.

News today also suggests that Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes chief Eddy Cue may have been exposed to coronavirus as Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has been hospitalized after falling ill with the infection. Cook and Cue attended a birthday party for Grainge on February 29, but it's not clear if Grainge had the coronavirus at that time.

Since the virus takes two to 14 days on average to infect after exposure, Cook and Cue are likely safe if no symptoms have appeared at this point, though there are reports of a few outlying incubation times that exceed two weeks.
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Apple Suspends All Active Filming on Apple TV+ Shows

Apple has suspended all active filming on Apple TV+ projects from outside studios, temporarily pausing work on "The Morning Show," "Foundation," "See," "Lisey's Story," "Servant," and "For All Mankind."


"The Morning Show" yesterday announced that it was shutting down production temporarily in an effort to prevent cast members and crew from catching the coronavirus, and as The Hollywood Reporter points out, the temporary halt on production has now expanded to all other ‌Apple TV‌+ shows that are in the process of filming.

"The Morning Show," "See," "Servant" and "For All Mankind" were filming season two episodes, while "Foundation" and "Lisey's Story," were filming their inaugural seasons.

Netflix has also shut down all scripted TV and film physical production for two weeks in the United States and Canada, and Disney TV Studios has shut down filming on 16 pilots. Warner Bros. Television Group has stopped production on more than TV shows and pilots that were in the works, and CBS, Paramount TV Studios, Showtime, and the CW have postponed production on some TV content.

Several late night talk shows, including "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon," "Late Night With Seth Meyers," and "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" are also on hiatus until at least March 30.

Given the spread of the coronavirus, it is not clear how long Apple and other TV production companies will need to pause work on television shows, and how that will affect TV debut dates. Several films that were set to debut soon are also being pushed back from their theatrical releases, including "The Quiet Place 2."
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Apple TV+ Series ‘The Morning Show’ on Filming Hiatus Due to Coronavirus Concerns

As the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the world, businesses and companies of all kinds are taking precautions to avoid the infection, including TV shows and movies that are in filming.


Apple TV+ series "The Morning Show" is one show that will be shutting down production temporarily in an effort to prevent cast members and crew from catching the coronavirus, reports Deadline.

The decision was made by "The Morning Show" studio Media Res in conjunction with Apple, and is described as a precaution that has not been prompted by any possible exposure.
"In concert with our dedicated partners at Apple, we have concluded it would be prudent to take a two-week hiatus to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the incredible people who make this show," said Michael Ellenberg, Founder and CEO of Media Res.
"NeXt," a Fox TV show, and "Riverdale," a CW show, have reported crew members who have come down with coronavirus. Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who are in Australia, said yesterday that they have the coronavirus.

"The Morning Show" is in the middle of filming its second season with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell.
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Apple Shares Trailer for ‘Beastie Boys Story’ Coming to Apple TV+ on April 24

Apple has shared a new trailer for its upcoming "Beastie Boys Story" documentary that will debut on April 24 on Apple TV+.

The story of 3 friends who inspired each other and the world. Beastie Boys Story coming April 24 to ‌Apple TV‌+ and in select IMAX theaters on April 2.

Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator and former hall monitor, Spike Jonze.
"Beastie Boys Story" is described as a live documentary experience that focuses on the history and the legacy of the group and its personal story. It's based on the "Beastie Boys Book," published in October 2018, and will feature Horovitz and Diamond discussing their long running friendship and rise to fame.

The film will be available in IMAX theaters in a limited release on April 3 before launching on ‌‌Apple TV‌‌+ on April 24. You can learn more about the "Beastie Boys Story" on the ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ app: http://apple.co/_beastieboysstory.

The release of the documentary comes ahead of the 26th anniversary of the release of "Ill Communication," the band's fourth album. Spike Jonze originally directed the music video for the hit song "Sabotage."
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