Apple's new TV streaming service launched on Friday 1 November 2019. If you are wondering what shows are on Apple TV+ and whether they are any good you've come to the right place. Here's our complete list of what you can watch on Apple TV+ if you subscribe to the service, and what you can watch even if you don't have a subscription. We've also got details of the latest programmes to arrive on Apple TV+ and some upcoming programmes that will be appearing on TV+ soon.
Apple took the wraps off the Apple TV+ service at an even on 25 March 2019. At the event Apple invited various actors, writers and directors onto the stage to pitch their upcoming shows to the audience. We saw Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, Oprah Winfrey, and even Big Bird, take to the stage and describe the new shows that they were making for Apple's customers.
In this article we'll let you know what's already on the Apple's TV+ subscription service (you can jump to that section here), what's still to start streaming, and we've also got the details of what you can watch on Apple's TV app without paying the subscription to Apple TV+.
As of April 2020 Apple has made lots of shows completely free to watch from its Apple TV+ collection. As we explain in our article about what you can watch for free on Apple TV+ the following shows are free, albeit for a limited time:
- The Elephant Queen
- Little America
- For All Mankind
- Snoopy in Space
- Fraggle Rock Rock On (NEW!)
There's much more you can watch on Apple TV without needing a subscription to Apple TV+. Back in January 2008, soon after Netflix started streaming, and long before Amazon Prime Video existed, Apple started selling TV shows and films on iTunes. Ever since movies and TV shows have been available to rent or buy from the iTunes Store. Sometimes movies are available on iTunes before they launch on DVD and long before appearing on Netflix.
More than a decade later and you can still find tons of movies, TV shows and more on the iTunes Store and you can either buy or rent them there and watch on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or TV (via an Apple TV set-top-box or other supporting device).
But there's a lot more competition now with Amazon also offering rentals, and the catalogues of both Amazon and Netflix growing with popular programmes and original series. It's often the case that a movie or show that would need to be rented or bought from Apple can be streamed on Netflix or Amazon at no extra cost.
Rather than switch the iTunes store to a subscription service, Apple's embraced this situation by being up front about where you can get the best deal on the movie or show you want to watch. Currently, you can use Apple's TV app (on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire or 2019 or newer Samsung TV) to search all your subscription and on demand streaming services for a show or movie you want to watch. The app will show you if it's available to buy or rent on iTunes, or if you can get it cheaper, or for free elsewhere. The TV app will tell you exactly where it is available and whether you can buy, rent, or subscribe to watch it. You then decide where you want to watch it, and are directed to that app.
Thus the TV app will help you find the content you want to watch, and showcase content that you might like, but you won't actually watch it within the TV app. Instead, once you've found the show you wish to watch, you will be sent to the relevant app to watch it there (be it Amazon, iPlayer, or Netflix). The exception to this is if it is movies or shows purchased from iTunes, content you have uploaded yourself, or content that is available in one of the Apple TV Channel's, which are third-party streaming services you can subscribe to from within the Apple TV app (there aren't many of these in the UK right now).
And, of course, if you subscribe to the Apple TV+ streaming service, you will watch all that content in the TV app too.
So, in a nutshell, here's what you can watch on the Apple TV or in the TV app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac:
- Shows purchased from iTunes Store
- Movies purchased or rented from iTunes Store
- Content you have uploaded yourself
- Content that is available in an Apple TV Channel - a third-party streaming services you can subscribe to from within the Apple TV app
- Content that you can find on the various subscription services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and the on-demand TV channels
- Anything on Apple's TV+ including some free shows and all shows if you subscribe
You can use the TV app to find where content is available so that you can decide to watch it in the relevant app on your device. (On a Mac running Catalina you will find the Apple TV app, but you may find the choice of content to be more limited due to the limited number of streaming apps on the Mac.)
If you aren't keen on subscribing to Apple TV+ read: How to get Apple TV+ for free.
How to use Apple's TV app to find shows
In the UK the Apple TV app lets you browse content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My5, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and more, along with the iTunes store. Elsewhere the TV app will offer a similar wealth of content from various apps. In the UK we still see Netflix recommendations under Where to Watch, but in the US it appears that no Netflix content is highlighted by the TV app.
- Open the TV app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. (The TV app is also available on various smart TVs, Roku and the Fire TV stick - more information about where you can use Apple's TV app here).
- Search for the TV show or movie you want to watch.
- You will see results that indicate where the show or movie is available and whether you can buy or subscribe to watch it. So, if it's available on one of the services you subscribe to you can watch it there.
- Choose the version that you want to watch and it will open in the relevant app. (Later this year an update to the TV app will mean it opens inside the TV app, regardless of which service you are using - unless that service happens to be Netflix, in which case you'll need to go to the Netflix app).
Apple has been spending billions on creating lots of new shows to be streamed via the Apple TV app. We have details of the shows that are currently streaming below and in the following section you can find out more about still to air shows. These are in alphabetical order.
Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories are on Apple TV+. During the Showtime event keynote, Spielberg said he would be "resurrecting this 93-year-old brand and offering to multi-generational audiences a whole new batch of Amazing Stories".
He revealed that in one story a World War II pilot‘s plane magically travels through space and time from the past and into the present day.
Back in May 2018 it was revealed that 'Once Upon A Time' co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis would be the executive producers on the show.
Each episode is disconnected, but there will be one compelling narrative running throughout that will link the first season.
Beastie Boys Story
This documentary is, as you'd expect, about the legacy of the Beastie Boys.
It was set to premiere in US cinemas on 3 April but that was put on hold by the Coronavirus Lockdown. The Beastie Boys Story arrives on Apple TV+ on 24 April 2020.
Chris Evans (Captain America) stars as a father who discovers that his 14-year-old son, played by Jaeden Martell (It) is suspected of killing his classmate in this short series based on a novel by William Landry. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) will also star in the series. Defending Jacob arrives on Apple TV+ on 24 April 2020.
Dickinson (FREE TO WATCH)
Hailee Steinfeld (of Pitch Perfect 2&3, Enders Game and Edge of Seventeen), stars in Dickinson - a series about American poet Emily Dickinson, born in 1830.
It's a coming-of-age comedy about the early life of Dickinson. It's a period drama that has been reimagined for a modern audience.
It also stars Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock) as the mother of Emily Dickinson and Toby Huss as her father. The show is written by Alena Smith (The Newsroom, The Affair).
Will there be a second season? Yes.
For All Mankind (FREE TO WATCH)
This space drama comes from Star Trek veteran Ronald D. Moore and is set in a universe where the Soviet Union made it to the moon first and the space race never ended. It stars Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon), Michael Dorman, Jodi Balfour and Sarah Jones.
Will there be a second season? Yes.
Fraggle Rock Rock On (FREE TO WATCH)
This new series of shorts brings Jim Henson’s Fraggles back to our TV screens. Each episode is five minutes long.
Ghostwriter (FREE TO WATCH)
This is a remake of a 1990's US show. The series follows four kids who must release fictional characters from works of literature with help from a ghost in a bookstore.
This film is a coming-of-age story about a young Muslim girl set in America. It was screened at the Sundance Festival. It stars Geraldine Viswanathan, is directed by Minhal Baig and Jada Pinkett Smith is the executive producer.
Helpsters: Sesame Workshop (FREE TO WATCH)
Apple has a deal with Sesame Workshop for this programme that will teach kids to code.
Helpsters features a new muppet, called Cody. Cody is described as "a monster who loves to help". This is one of several projects in the works in collaboration with Children's Television Workshop.
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
In this animated short a seven-year-old learns about the wonders of the planet from his parents.
Meryl Streep narrates and Chris O’Dowd, Jacob Tremblay, and Ruth Negga provide their voices.
This ten episode series tours the world's most innovative homes and meeting the people who designed them.
Home Before Dark
This mystery drama is based on a true story. 11-year old aspiring journalist Hilde Lysiak discovers a cold case murder covered up by her town. Staring Brooklynn Prince and Jim Sturgess.
Little America (FREE TO WATCH)
Co-written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon who wrote The Big Sick. It's about American immigrants and is produced by Master of None co-creator/executive producer Alan Yang.
Nanjiani appeared on stage during the Apple event and revealed that each episode will be directed by an immigrant or the children of an immigrant. It is based on the true stories of immigrants, many of which were printed in Epic Magazine’s Little America series.
Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet
This comedy from Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day is set in a video game development studio. McElhenney stars in the show as the creative mind behind Mythic Quest. Games studio Ubisoft is involved too.
It premiered on 7 February 2020.
A new Quarantine episode filmed while the team were in Lockdown is to air on 22 May. More information about the special Mythic Quest Quarantine episode here.
Will there be a second series? Yes.
Oprah's Book Club
Apple has signed up Oprah Winfrey to create original programmes. The multiyear deal will see Winfrey create “original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” according to a statement from Apple.
Two documentaries are in the works. Toxic Labor looks into sexual harassment in the workplace, the other will focus on mental health and it is said that Prince Harry is collaborating on that documentary.
Oprah's Book Club is already on Apple TV+ though.
Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie will star in this film about two 1950’s African American entrepreneurs, Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, who recruited white man, Matt Steiner, to pose as the head of their business empire.
The movie debuted at AFI Fest on 21 November 2019, was released in US cinemas on 6 March, and arrived on Apple TV+ on 20 March 2020.
The Elephant Queen (FREE TO WATCH)
In this documentary Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble embedded themselves for four years together with the family of a giant elephant matriarch named Athena. The film follows the elephants' search of food and water after their watering hole dries up.
The Morning Show
This drama, based on the book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV by Brian Stelter, stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The book - and show - looks at the lives of morning TV presenters.
Will there be a second series? Yes.
We love this British comedy of eight half-hour episodes about the challenges faced by a young childless couple seeking to adopt.
It's written by Andy Wolton and stars Rafe Spall as Jason, Esther Smith as Nikki and Imelda Staunton as Penny.
Trying arrived on Apple TV+? 1 May 2020.
Will there be a second season: Yes
This is a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic drama set in a future where all humans are blind - except for a pair of twins.
It stars Jason Momoa (of Aquaman and Game of Thrones) alongside Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, Captain America: Civil War) and comes from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence.
The show includes scenes of a violent and sexual nature, despite claims that Apple was intent on making only family-friendly shows.
Will there be a second series? Yes.
This psychological thriller, written by Tony Basgallop, is about a Philadelphia couple and a mysterious force that enters their home after a tragic event.
Some of the ten half hour episodes are directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Toby Kibbell, Lauren Abrose and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) star in the show.
Snoopy in Space (FREE TO WATCH)
Another one for the kids. Snoopy in Space sees Snoopy become a Nasa astronaut. There are 12 episodes.
Truth Be Told
This crime drama, based on a novel called "Are You Sleeping" by Kathleen Barber, sees a murder case reopened after a Serial-style podcast publicises it.
The series was written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman, who also wrote The Good Wife.
Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine, co-produced it for Apple and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer stars as the protagonist, Josie.
Visible: Out on Television
This five part documentary demonstrates the way the LGBTQ movement shaped television. It combines archive footage and interviews.
If the shows currently on offer don't impress you, take a look behind to see what else is coming to Apple TV+.
This show is being made in conjunction with the BBC and will star Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter). It's an eight-part series that will be released in 2020.
Apparently Apple is working on adapting a "gritty Israeli TV show” for the US market. Show-runners Howard Gordon and Warren Leight worked on 24, Homeland and Law and Order. The show centres on two elderly Vietnam vets - one of whom is played by Richard Gere.
This documentary aired at Sundance. It's about an experiment in Texas in which 1,000 17-year old boys try to form a new representative government.
Billy Eilish documentary
A documentary about 17-year-old Billy Eilish who has won a host of awards and was Apple's first Artist of the Year.
This will be an animated musical comedy series staring Kristen Bell and Josh Gad (who last worked together on Frozen), as well as Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr and Daveed Diggs, Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Transparent actress Kathryn Hahn and Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci, according to Digital Spy.
The series is based on a family of Central Park caretakers who have to save the world.
It's from the creator of Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard and is being co-written with Josh Gad and Nora Smith. Apple is committed to 26 episodes over two seasons.
When will Central Park be on Apple TV+? 29 May 2020.
Apple's said to be preparing to stream A movie adaption of Dickens' A Christmas Carol starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.
We expect to see this in December 2020.
This will be Apple’s first International series, an English language adaption of French series Calls. Each story is based around the audio recording of a 999 (911) call. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Calls "takes storytelling innovation to the next level, allowing audiences to experience short stories through real-life audio sources and minimal visuals."
This documentary series will tell the biographies of famous people including Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Aly Raisman, Misty Copeland, Big Bird and more, told through letters sent by people who's lives they have change.
When will Dear... be on Apple TV+? 5 June 2020.
El Gato Negro
Based on the comic books about El Gato Negro - The Black Cat.
Directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez, staring Diego Boneta.
Adapted from the award-winning Israeli TV series False Flag. Four civilians are falsely accused of a kidnapping.
Isaac Asimov's Foundation
Apple has landed a TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov's science fiction novel trilogy Foundation. It's based in a galaxy where humans live under the control of the Galactic Empire.
According to a Deadline report, the project from Skydance Television will be produced by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman as well as Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross.
Goyer's credits include The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Ghost Rider, and more. He also co-wrote the upcoming Terminator reboot.
Friedman's credits include Avatar 2, the War of the Worlds remake and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The show will star Lee Pace (Halt and Catch Fire, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Mad Men) according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Little Voices is described as a dramedy set in New York, with characters attempting to find their “authentic voice”. It will be produced by J.J. Abrams with original music by Sara Bareilles.
There will apparently be ten episodes of the show, but the launch date isn't yet known.
This eight-part miniseries will star Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right, Crazy, Stupid, Love, What Madie Knew) and is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel with King actually writing all the episodes.
It will be produced by J.J Abrams' production company Bad Robot.
A drama about politicians, scientists, and activists trying to stop climate change in the 1970s and ’80s. The drama is based on a New York Times article that appeared in the summer of 2019.
Masters of the Air
This series will be about World War II bombers. It's said to be a follow-up to the hit HBO series Band of Brothers and is the first show to be produced by Apple's own studio, Masters.
Written by John Orloff (Band of Brothers). Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will be executive producers.
This drama series is written, produced and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Third Rock from the Sun) as a school teacher struggling to cope with life as an adult in Los Angeles.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends
J.J. Abrams will also produce this drama series, based on Amy Silverstein's book about the group of women who supported her when she was waiting for a heart transplant. Staring Jennifer Garner (13 Going On 30, Alias).
On the Rocks
Written and directed by Sofia Coppola and staring Bill Murray, this film follows a young mother (Rashida Jones) who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York.
It's not yet known if the film will have a cinema release prior to its release on Apple TV+.
Based on Min Jin Lee’s book, Pachinko will tell the story of four generations of a Korean immigrant family, touching on the theme of forbidden love in Korea, Japan and America. Staring Soo Hugh.
Natural history series will use CGI to follow the last days of the dinosaurs. It's being produced by BBC Studios' Natural History Unit.
This workplace thriller focuses on Mark, an employee with a dark past trying to put himself back together.
Based on Gregory David Roberts' 2003 novel, which is based on Roberts' life. The main character is a convict who flees an Australian prison for Bombay where he meets gangsters and criminals.
Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle, The International) will write and produce the series and the lead character will be payed by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim).
Ed Sheeran documentary: Songwriter
Apple is said to be making a documentary about singer Ed Sheeran.
The documentary will be directed by Sheeran's cousin Murray Cummings.
Apparently the documentary will be released in the cinema as well as on Apple’s own platforms (via Deadline).
British MI-5 agency sends its failed spies to “Slough House” to do unimportant work. These ex-spies are referred to as Slow Horses, hence the title.
Gary Oldman will star.
An article in the Daily Telegraph suggested that Apple is in discussions with mobile network EE (which is part of BT) regarding a deal that could see EE distributing Apple TV set-top boxes to its customers.
Should the deal go ahead, EE customers might be able to watch the BT Sport channel via the Apple TV.
Swagger is a drama series based on the life of Kevin Durant, a Basketball player. It will be written and directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood who wrote Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious.
This comedy series will star Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, a character that appeared in an NBC Sports video a few years ago. The character is an American football coach who goes to coach football in the UK despite not knowing how to play football (or soccer as it's known in the US) and thinking only in terms of American Football.
The Mosquito Coast
This adaptation of the novel The Mosquito Coast will star Justin Theroux (whose uncle published the story and later made it into a movie staring Harrison Ford).
The Sky is Everywhere
The Sky is Everywhere will be adapted from a young adult novel of the same name. The protagonist is the younger sister of a girl who died suddenly and the story details how she copes with the loss of her sister, and her developing relationships with the fiance of her sister and another boy who moved to the town.
Apple has bought an adaptation of Terry Gilliam's 1981 film Time Bandits. It's the story of six dwarves on the run from the Supreme Being. Gilliam will reportedly be a "non-writing executive partner", according to Deadline.
The two-part series will be co-written and directed by Taika Waititi - who bought us Thor: Ragnarok.
This show was one of the first to be announced as an Apple project, with the Dr. Dre produced show said be a semi-autobiographical tale of Dre’s life. Since 2016 when the show was first discussed there has been no more word, so perhaps it will never happen.
This is the story of a young hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack of evil wolves, but instead befriends a wild native girl who runs with them. The film comes from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
La La Land's Damien Chazelle has been signed up by Apple to write and direct a drama series for Apple.
House of Cards studio MRC is also involved with the show.
Untitled: 'You Think It, I'll Say It'
This Reese Witherspoon-produced show was supposed to star Kristen Wiig but Wiig has left the show and it is currently on hold. The comedy series is based on Curtis Sittenfeld's short story collection titled You Think It, I'll Say It.
Untitled: CIA undercover agent inspired drama
Brie Larson (Captain Marvell) will star as CIA agent Amaryllis Fox in a show based on Fox's real life experiences. As yet untitled, although a Fox's biography Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA was released in October 2019 so it may use that name.
Back in June 2018 Apple was seeking to acquire animation rights to a movie from Academy Award-nominee Cartoon Saloon, according to Bloomberg.
The company was negotiating with Cartoon Saloon - the studio behind Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea - for rights to an animation that hadn’t yet been made.
Apple would have to release the film to cinemas prior to making it available for download in order for it to qualify for an Academy Award.
Untitled: Sci-fi series
Simon Kinberg (X-Men) and David Weil (The Hunt) will be creating a 10-episode science fiction series.