Apple is a brand known for breaking new ground, and — despite following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon by creating its own original series — the tech giant’s first foray into TV seems primed to do just that.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Dr. Dre is producing and starring in a six-episode series loosely based on his own life. Each episode of “Vital Signs” will deal with a different emotion and how the series’ central character, played by Dre, will handle it.
While the popular rapper and music producer starring in Apple’s first TV series is breaking news enough, what’s potentially fascinating about the series is its direct rebuttal of conventional TV law; laws made literal by the TV Academy just last year. Despite being made up of half-hour episodes, “Vital Signs” is a drama. Insiders describe it as a dark and violent project with its fair share of steamy sex scenes. (Sources told THR an orgy scene was shot just this week, with extras simulating sex in Los Angeles mansions.)
Assuming that “Vital Signs” is, you know, good, this could cause a commotion when Emmys season rolls around. Much has been said about the TV Academy’s rule changes, imposed before the 2015 ceremony, stating that all shows a half-hour or less would be considered comedies and anything longer would qualify as a drama. But imagining a dark drama with realistic depictions of violence and sex going up against shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” already sounds like a bigger issue than when “The Martian” qualified as a comedy for this year’s Golden Globes
And it could happen. Apple is reportedly “bullish” on the project, and Dr. Dre himself is no stranger to the awards game after helping “Straight Outta Compton” earn an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. Considering his partnership with Apple — dating back to the tech giant’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics in 2014 — and the need for new original programming distributors to make a big splash with their first series, Apple, Dre and a few others could get behind this project with a full awards push whenever it’s actually released.
No release window has been provided, but “Vital Signs” will be rolled out through Apple’s subscription service, Apple Music. It’s yet to be confirmed if Apple TV, iTunes or other Apple platforms will be involved in the release.