Oprah Apple

If anyone thought Apple was just going to ease its way into the original content game, today the company proved once and for all that they are walking up to the edge of Hollywood’s pool, screaming “cannonball!”, and hurling themselves in the deep end with the hopes of making the biggest splash possible.

In the wake of yesterday’s news that the company may be getting into movies as well as TV, a new report says that the company has just signed Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year content development deal.

One thing is for sure: Apple is not messing around. Hiring people like J.J. Abrams and M. Night Shyamalan to produce new TV shows is one thing, but scoring a deal with Oprah – one of the most famous people on planet Earth – takes things to an entirely different level. The announcement says Oprah will team with Apple to “create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Winfrey already has her own television network, OWN, but the Oprah Apple deal doesn’t conflict with her duties there as the network’s CEO. She has an exclusivity contract with OWN until 2025, but it sounds like they’re playing fast and loose with the term “exclusivity” – Deadline says that only applies to “ad-supported cable only, and she is allowed to produce and appear on-camera on other platforms on a limited basis.” She’ll be able to produce and appear in projects for Apple under the same clause that allows her to be a contributor on CBS’s 60 Minutes and let her star in HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

But after months of announcements like these that lock down top-tier talent for new shows, Apple still hasn’t explained how anyone is ever going to be able to see any of the content they’re producing. At this rate, I’m starting to wonder if Apple CEO Tim Cook is just very slowly executing the most elaborate April Fools gag of all time. On April 1, 2019, I expect him to take the stage somewhere and say, “You thought all of those people were going to have shows? We were just kidding! We got you so good!” Then his assistants will turn the lights on, walk out from behind the curtain, and say, “Um, excuse me, Tim? There’s no one in the audience, and there aren’t any cameras here. Who are you talking to?”

Cool Posts From Around the Web: