Apple TV+ Orders Two More Seasons of ‘Slow Horses’

Apple TV+ has ordered two more seasons of the espionage series “Slow Horses,” starring Gary Oldman, to be adapted from the next two novels in the CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning Mick Herron spy series “Slough House.”

The six-episode first season of “Slow Horses” launched globally on Apple TV+ April 1, with the second season set to premiere globally later this year.

In season three of “Slow Horses,” Jackson Lamb’s disgraced spies work together to foil a rogue agent when one of their own is kidnapped. Season four opens with a bombing that detonates personal secrets, rocking the already unstable foundations of Slough House.

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“Slow Horses” is a darkly humorous espionage drama that follows a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping-ground department of MI5 known un-affectionately as Slough House. Oldman stars as Lamb, the brilliant but irascible leader of the spies, who end up in Slough House due to their career-ending mistakes as they frequently find themselves blundering around the smoke and mirrors of the espionage world. The ensemble cast includes Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas, BAFTA Scotland Award winner Jack Lowden, Saskia Reeves, Rosalind Eleazar, Christopher Chung, Freddie Fox, Chris Reilly, Samuel West, Sophie Okonedo, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Kadiff Kirwan and Academy Award nominee Jonathan Pryce.

Amazon Freevee Now Streaming on Apple Devices

Amazon’s ad-supported streaming video service Freevee is now available on the Apple platform, including Apple TV, iPad and iPhone. The erstwhile IMDb TV earlier this month made itself available on the Roku platform, including Fire TV.

The Freevee app is also available on Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBox video game consoles, on the Vizio SmartCast, LG WebOS and Vizio SmartCast operating systems for internet-connected TVs.

On May 2, Freevee announced a slate of premium originals, with multiple pickups of scripted and unscripted content. The ad-supported streaming service greenlighted a new cooking competition series called “America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation,” the coming-of-age drama “Beyond Black Beauty,” the family competition series “Play-Doh Squished,” and the music documentary Post Malone: Runaway.

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Freevee also picked up a second season of “Bosch: Legacy” and a third and fourth season of Uninterrupted’s “Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers.”

Apple TV+ Announces Summer Kids and Family Slate

Apple TV+ has announced summer premiere dates for a slate of new original series, specials, shorts and returning shows for kids and families.

Due June 24 is a special and shorts for “Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show.” Jack and his friends set out to solve a kindness mystery: Who’s behind the random acts of kindness popping up all over town? Plus four shorts where Jack interviews real kids about their acts of kindness in their hometowns, and gives them a DIY bird feeder kit they can hang up as a symbol of being a Kindness Ambassador. “Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show” is co-created and executive produced by McBrayer and Santomero. The series is produced by Emmy Award-winning 9 Story Media Group (“Blue’s Clues & You!,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) with animation by its Oscar-nominated studio Brown Bag Films (“Doc McStuffins,” “Vampirina,” “Karma’s World”). 

Available July 8 is season one of “Duck & Goose.” Inspired by the New York Times bestselling books by Tad Hills, “Duck & Goose” is a preschool series that celebrates the unique friendship of Duck and Goose, two best feathered friends that don’t always see beak to beak. That is until they discover that embracing and appreciating each other’s differences can help them think up entirely new ideas to help solve everyday challenges, both big and small.

Season one of “Best Foot Forward” premieres July 22. Based on the book Just Don’t Fall by real life paralympic athlete, author, motivational speaker and comedian Josh Sundquist, the live-action series follows 12-year-old Josh Dubin as he goes from homeschool to public school, eager to experience everything middle school has to offer! But along the way, Josh also faces a brand-new set of challenges, including how to get an entire school of kids to see past his prosthetic leg, and get to know him for who he is. With the support of his parents and the help of his best friends, Kyle and Gabriella, Josh learns, laughs and grows, eager to come back every day for more. 

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Season one of “Amber Brown” premieres July 29. Based on the best-selling book series by Paula Danziger, with more than 10 million copies in print, “Amber Brown” is an unfiltered look at a girl finding her voice through art and music in the wake of her parents’ divorce. Directed and written by Bonnie Hunt (“Life with Bonnie,” “The Bonnie Hunt Show”), the series stars Carsyn Rose (“The Rookie,” “Cousins for Life”) and Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Cruel Summer”) with an ensemble cast including Darin Brooks (“Blue Mountain State,” “The Croods: Family Tree”) as Max, and newcomer Liliana Inouye (“The Slows”) as Brandi Colwin. 

Season two of “The Snoopy Show” bows Aug. 5, with new adventures with the happy-dancing, high-flying, big-dreaming beagle, who’s joined by best friend Woodstock and the rest of the Peanuts gang.

The “Peanuts Classics” platform debuts Aug. 5. The Peanuts gang is featured in classics from Mendelson/Melendez Productions including “A Charlie Brown Celebration,” “He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown,” “He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown,” “It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown,” “It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown,” “There’s No Time For Love, Charlie Brown,” “Why, Charlie Brown, Why?,” “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown” and “You’re The Greatest, Charlie Brown.”

The new “Peanuts” special “Lucy’s School” debuts Aug. 12. In the special, the Peanuts gang is anxious about starting at a new school in the fall, inspiring Lucy to start her own school instead, but teaching isn’t as easy as it sounds. “Lucy’s School” is a love letter to teachers and an appreciation of what makes teaching such a noble and fulfilling profession. It explores the fear of change, and shows Lucy facing and overcoming her fears with the support of her friends.

Season one of “Surfside Girls” premieres Aug. 19. From WGA Award winner and Daytime Emmy Award nominee May Chan (“American Girl: Corinne Tan,” “The Astronauts”), and based on the best-selling graphic novel series of the same name by author Kim Dwinell, the live-action series is about best friends Sam and Jade as they solve supernatural mysteries in their sleepy California beach town. These best friends must combine their polar-opposite strengths of imagination and logic in order to solve the seemingly supernatural mysteries that hide just beneath the surface of their town. 

Season one of “Life by Ella” bows Sept. 2. In the series, Ella returns to school with a brand new perspective, excitement for what the future holds, and a major seize-the-day mentality. With her best friend by her side, she is ready to tackle everything she was too afraid of before and determined not to let the minutia of fake friends and social media status distract her.

Slow Horses

STREAMING REVIEW: 

Apple TV+;
Thriller;
Not rated.
Stars Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jack Lowden.

This darkly funny spy thriller series is based on the 2010 novel of the same name and gives Academy Award-lauded star Gary Oldman another shot at playing a grumpy old mentor following his Oscar-nominated turn in Mank and his Oscar-winning performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

Needless to say, Oldman has the role of crusty crank down to a science.

He plays Jackson Lamb, the alcoholic ringleader of a band of misfit MI5 agents relegated to Slough House (not-so-affectionately called “Slow Horses”) after they have bungled their spying assignments. The irascible boss Lamb is bent on making their work lives insufferably tedious and pointless until the band of quirky secret agents is unwittingly drawn into a real spy caper involving the MI5 ‘A’ team and its boss Diana Taverner (Kristin Scott Thomas).

Recalling great old spy movies of the 1970s with all their grime and grit — albeit set after the fall of the Berlin Wall — “Slow Horses” succeeds in offering a mystery through-line for its first season (another is on the way) while also introducing characters that keep the viewers’ interest. In addition to Lamb (Oldman) and Taverner (Thomas), we meet River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), the young spy determined to make good, as well as his grandfather and retired MI5 officer David Cartwright (the venerable Jonathan Pryce), among other intriguing personalities. Like any good characters, they are fun to watch and leave viewers wanting to spend more time with them — no matter what the next assignment may be.

Apple TV+ Bows Trailer for May 6 Peanuts Mother’s Day Special

Ahead of the premiere of the new Mother’s Day special “To Mom (And Dad), With Love” on May 6, Apple TV+ unveiled the trailer for the original special, which is based on the classic “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz.

“To Mom (And Dad), With Love” is a Mother’s Day celebration of friendship and family featuring the Peanuts gang. While the other kids are excited to celebrate the special day, for Peppermint Patty it’s just a reminder that she didn’t grow up with a mom. With her good friend Marcie by her side, she soon realizes that real families come in all shapes and sizes, and that Mother’s Day is an opportunity to thank that special person in your life who means the most to you. Meanwhile, Snoopy and Woodstock embark on an epic adventure to find Woodstock’s long-lost mom.

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Produced for Apple TV+ by Peanuts and WildBrain, the special is directed by Clay Kaytis and executive produced by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, Cornelius Uliano, Paige Braddock, Josh Scherba, Stephanie Betts, Amir Nasrabadi and Anne Loi, and produced by James Brown and Timothy Jason Smith.

 

Apple TV+ Orders Preschool Series ‘Sago Mini Friends’

Apple TV+ has ordered “Sago Mini Friends,” a new preschool animated series.

Produced by Spin Master Entertainment (“Paw Patrol”) and animated by Brown Bag Films (”Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Blue’s Clues & You!” and “Wild Kratts”), the series is based on the characters and designs featured in the Sago Mini World app, developed by Sago Mini.

The “Sago Mini Friends” series is a nod to gratitude, featuring Harvey the floppy-eared dog and his best friends Jinja the cat, Jack the rabbit and Robin the bird. The four friends play, explore, imagine and celebrate daily in their joyful town of Sagoville. In each episode, Harvey and all his friends express their true thankfulness for all things, big and small, through optimism, kindness, preschool-friendly humor and original songs.

The Sago Mini World app features more than 40 games for kids ages 2-5 and has been recognized by the Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, the Webby Awards, the Academics’ Choice Awards and the Kidscreen Awards.

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“Sago Mini Friends” is executive produced by Jennifer Dodge (“Paw Patrol”), Ronnen Harary (“Paw Patrol”), Tone Thyne (“Wonder Pets!”) and Dustin Ferrer (“Esme & Roy”). Laura Clunie (“Paw Patrol”) and Toni Stevens (“Paw Patrol”) serve as co-executive producers, with Chad Hicks (“Kingdom Force”) as series director.

Idris Alba to Star in Series ‘Hijack’ for Apple TV+

“Hijack,” a new seven-part thriller starring SAG-winning and Emmy Award-nominated actor Idris Elba, is headed for Apple TV+. 

Elba will also serve as executive producer. The series is the first project hailing from Elba’s first-look deal with Apple TV+ and his Green Door Pictures.

Told in real time, “Hijack” follows the journey of a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London over a seven hour flight, as authorities on the ground scramble for answers. Elba stars as Sam Nelson, an accomplished negotiator in the business world who needs to step up and use all his guile to try and save the lives of the passengers — but his high-risk strategy could be his undoing.

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Apple TV+ Strikes Multiyear Deal With Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone

Apple TV+ has landed a multiyear overall deal with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s production company Playtone to exclusively develop, produce and distribute all forms of television globally encompassing series, limited series, documentaries and unscripted projects.

Apple’s partnership with Playtone builds on its existing film and series relationship, which includes limited drama series “Masters of the Air,” from Apple Studios, Playtone and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. The series follows the true, personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. Additionally, Apple Original Films’ Academy Award-nominated “Greyhound,” produced by Goetzman and written by and starring Hanks, is available to stream on Apple TV+.

Playtone’s television productions have earned six Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, four Golden Globe Awards for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and five Peabody Awards. Goetzman and Hanks are also recipients of the PGA’s Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.

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Future Playtone projects will join the expanding lineup of series debuting globally on Apple TV+, including the recently released “Pachinko,” the Korean, Japanese and English-language drama based on the novel by the same name; “Slow Horses,” the espionage drama adapted from CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning Mick Herron’s novels and starring Academy Award winner Gary Oldman; “Shining Girls,” a new metaphysical thriller starring and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Elisabeth Moss and based on Lauren Beukes’ bestselling novel; “Now and Then,” the new eight-episode bilingual thriller, among others.

After its launch on Nov. 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries, and series have been honored with over 240 wins and more than 950 award nominations and counting, including this year’s Oscar Best Picture winner CODA.

Maya Rudolph Comedy Series ‘Loot’ to Bow on Apple TV+ June 24

The Maya Rudolph comedy series “Loot” will premiere on Apple TV+ June 24.

Starring and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”) and from Emmy Award-winning creators Alan Yang (“Little America,” “Master of None”) and Matt Hubbard (“30 Rock,” “Forever”), the 10-episode workplace comedy will debut globally with the first three episodes followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday.

In addition to Rudolph, the “Loot” ensemble cast is led by stars Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (“Pose”), Ron Funches (“Undateable”), Nat Faxon (“Married”) and Joel Kim Booster (‘Sunnyside”).

In “Loot,” billionaire Molly Novak (Rudolph) has a dream life, complete with private jets, a sprawling mansion, and a gigayacht — anything her heart desires. But when her husband of 20 years betrays her, she spirals publicly, becoming fuel for tabloid fodder. She’s reaching rock bottom when she learns, to her surprise, that she has a charity foundation run by the no-nonsense Sofia Salinas (Rodriguez), who pleads with Molly to stop generating bad press. With her devoted assistant Nicholas (Kim Booster) by her side, and with the help of Sofia and team — including mild-mannered accountant Arthur (Faxon) and her optimistic, pop-culture-loving cousin Howard (Funches) — Molly embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Giving back to others might be what she needs to get back to herself.

The project marks the second collaboration between Apple TV+ and Yang following the the three-time Independent Spirit Award, BAFTA and NAACP Image Award nominated anthology series “Little America.”

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Vizio Bows Promos on Apple TV+, Discovery+ and Fubo TV Subs

Vizio has announced exclusive subscription discounts on Apple TV+, Discovery+ and FubuTV.

The Apple TV+ promo is a three-month trial for new subscribers. The offer will be presented on the Vizio home screen through promotional banners with the opportunity to start redemption from the home screen. The offer is available April 25 through May 30.

New Discovery+ subscribers will get access to an exclusive 30-day promotional trial following the purchase and registration of a new Vizio TV. The promo offer will be shared to the new owner’s email address with a link to redeem the trial. The offer is available April 22 through Oct. 22.

New FuboTV subscribers can get 20% off the first month of their subscription until April 15. Vizio smart-TV owners can access the offer through the Vizio home screen.

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“Vizio’s mission is to bring the best possible entertainment experience to the millions of people that use our products every day. Working with our content partners to extend discounts on their subscription services so that Vizio audiences can access premium programming helps us deliver on that mission,” Liz Buhn, senior director of partner marketing at Vizio, said in a statement.