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Apple Premieres First Original Series, ‘Planet of the Apps’

Variety logo Variety 6/7/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Apple’s first original series — reality competition show “Planet of the Apps” — premieres Tuesday, but how far the tech giant delves into Hollywood content remains an open question.

The show’s first episode is launching at around 9 p.m. PT Tuesday, exclusively on the Apple Music streaming-music subscription service. The company this week said it has 27 million Apple Music subs.

The 10-episode show — designed to highlight Apple’s multibillion-dollar App Store business — features aspiring app developers vying for a chance to win venture-capital funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. A new episode will be available exclusively on Apple Music each week on Tuesday evenings.

Apple Music is set to bow original series “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” on Aug. 8, featuring a lineup of celebrity guests. The 16-episode show is based on the popular sketches from CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” and Corden will appear in at least two of the segments. That show also is being released on a weekly cycle, with a new episode to be released each Tuesday.

“Planet of the Apps” is produced by two TV veterans, Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard Owens. Will.i.am, Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk serve as executive producers and mentors on the show, which is hosted by Zane Lowe, a New Zealand-born DJ who is creative director of the Beats 1 radio station on Apple Music.

Apple kicked off the “Planet of the Apps” series with a screening Tuesday at its Worldwide Developers Conference at the San Jose Convention Center.

For now, Apple’s original entertainment strategy is geared toward reinforcing Apple Music, which starts at $10 per month. There’s no indication that Apple is looking to launch a full-bore, dedicated subscription-video service designed to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu — but that could change.

Watch the trailer for “Planet of the Apps”:

Pictured above (l. to r.): Jessica Alba, Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Vaynerchuk

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