Apple TV+ landed three major Golden Globe nominations this morning for one of its first original series, The Morning Show. It was nominated for drama series and twice in the actress in a drama series category for stars/executive producers Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
The noms, which followed Apple+’s first TV nomination at the Critics’ Choice Awards yesterday, for The Morning Show standout Billy Crudup, come just four weeks after the Nov. 1 launch of the streamer. The performance may have exceeded internal expectations.
“Honestly we had really mitigated expectations because no streamer has ever received nominations in any significant categories the first year, it took minimum two years before they got traction to get nominations,” Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video, said. “We expected that it would be very hard to do, but we also had to believe in the quality of our shows and that if anyone had a chance to get early awards recognition, Apple TV+ would be one to do it. It’s been validating what we knew, that we had something special here.”
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Added Apple’s fellow head of Worldwide Video Zack Van Amburg, “After the debut of Apple TV+ just last month, today’s nominations are a true testament to the powerful storytelling that went into The Morning Show, as well as all of our Apple Originals.”
While initial reaction from critics to The Morning Show was mixed, reviews have become largely positive as the freshman season went on.
“The episodes keep getting better and stronger, with a more significant message,” Erlicht said.
Regular viewers had been on board from the start, with the show’s audience Rotten Tomatoes score holding steady at 94% (The drama’s critics’ score is at 63% vs. 50% at launch.)
According to sources, The Morning Show has grown its viewership eight times since the premiere, half of it coming from the U.S. and the other half from international. That is not surprising given the global popularity of stars Aniston, Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
“I have never loved a Monday morning more!,” Aniston quipped following the Golden Globe nominations announcement early Monday.
The Morning Show also has been the main audience drive of Apple TV+’s original slate so far, according to sources. The streamer launched with four primetime series, The Morning Show, See, Dickinson and For All Mankind. They recently were joined by horror drama Servant, whose audience trajectory is said to be ahead to where its predecessors were at the same point.
“We are off to a phenomenal start,” Erlicht said about the service’s first four weeks.
According to Apple, with today’s nominations for The Morning Show, Apple TV+ became the first streaming platform to receive recognition from the HFPA in its launch year.
Apple TV+’s fast awards start can be explained by its approach to originals as the streamer started off with high-end, star-studded series.
Formerly, Netflix’s first original series was a lower-budget acquisition, the 2012 Norwegian–American black comedy Lilyhammer. The first crop of homegrown Netflix originals, House Of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, launched in 2013 and both landed major Golden Globe nominations later that year. Meanwhile, Amazon and Hulu started off their original efforts with low-budget comedies, gradually moving to high-end series that got awards attention.
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