Apple's first original TV shows are no Game of Thrones, but the Cupertino tech giant is ready to shell out some serious cash to produce a comparable hit.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, on Wednesday reported that Apple is budgeting "roughly $1 billion" over the next year for its push into original content. That's about half of what HBO spent on its shows in 2016, and the same amount Amazon spent on programming in 2013, the report notes.
The Journal's sources reckon that Apple could produce as many as 10 TV shows with that money. Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue wants the company's shows to stack up against Game of Thrones, according to the report. Something of that caliber could cost more than $10 million per episode to produce.
Apple's first original show, Planet of the Apps, debuted in June to mediocre reviews. The show is basically Shark Tank for apps: every episode, entrepreneurs have 60 seconds to pitch their apps to four celebrity advisors. PCMag's Chandra Steele, who watched the show so you don't have to, said "40 minutes of discussions about products that are best viewed on a smartphone screen is not exactly must-see TV."
Meanwhile, early reviews of Apple's second original show, Carpool Karaoke: The Series, which debuted last week, have also been lukewarm. Based on the popular segment from The Late Late Show with James Corden, the series features 16 celebrity pairings "riding along in a car together as they sing tunes from their personal playlists and surprise fans who don't expect to see big stars belting out tunes one lane over," Apple said.