The executive producers of Apple TV+s’s flagship show The Morning Show are calling the drama’s tepid reviews an “attack on Apple.”
According to a new report from Vox, Mimi Leder and Kerry Ehrin were speaking at Recode’s Code Media conference on the challenges and opportunities presented by Apple’s new streaming service, Apple TV+.
Leder believes that many of the people who were critical of the tech giant’s debut drama were driven by a desire to see the company fail in its long-awaited streaming effort.
“When those reviews came in, I didn’t know what show they were watching. And I just kind of thought they were nuts,” said Leder, who is known for her previous work on shows like ER and The West Wing. “I just felt there were a lot of Apple haters and wanting Apple to fail.”
Ehrin described some of the reviews as “pretty attack-ish.” “There were a lot of very well-tuned Apple jokes,” she said. When NBC senior media reporter Dylan Byers, who moderated the discussion, asked them if they felt like The Morning Show was judged by looking at the entire Apple TV+ launch, they both responded: “100 percent.”
The producers said that in general Apple was a good network to work for, and allowed them plenty of creative freedom. “It really wasn’t any different for us than working with HBO,” said Leder.
When asked by an audience member about the viewing figures for The Morning Show however, the producers said they hadn’t been given exact numbers. “They’ve told us nothing. They’re very secretive,” said Leder. “I do know the demographics were very good. I can’t give you a number, but they’re very happy about them,” Ehrin added.
Many of the early initial reviews were quite poor, with the first three episodes receiving an initial Metacritic rating of just 57. It was so bad, in fact, Apple actually decided to push out the remainder of the series to reviewers just four days after the embargo on the first three episodes was lifted, a move many suggested was damage control.
While Apple has not commented on its viewership data for the new streaming service, a spokesperson said that the average time spent on Apple TV+ during the first week following its November 1 launch was “well over an hour” per session and that the “majority” of viewers who watched one episode of a series watched the next.