Apple TV+ Offers Free Subscriptions Through June

When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, the company offered a free one-year subscription to buyers of Apple products. In October 2020, the free subscription was extended to February 2021. Apple has announced that they are again extending the free subscription through June 2021. 

Those who signed up for Apple TV+ in November 2019 will have enjoyed 21 months without paying the $4.99 monthly subscription cost. Any customers who have an annual subscription that will in the February through June period will receive the free extension as well. Customers will be notified via email.

The next six months will be free to all users and not just to those with an annual subscription. Customers who are paying for the monthly plan will receive a $4.99 store credit each month from February to June to offset the subscription cost. Apple One bundle subscribers will likewise get the monthly credit.  

While Apple has not officially explained why they are extending the free subscriptions. it is a gift to those of us who will be limited to streaming at home as we wait for Covid-19 vaccines. One could speculate that it is to maintain the Apple TV+ subscriber base as more original content is released to better compete with services like Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Paramount + (the new name for CBS All Access). 

So far, Apple TV+ is producing forty originals—documentaries, talk shows (The Oprah Conversation), movies, and series. Some shows are already streaming the second season, others have a 2021 release date, and several shows have had a second (and third) season ordered.  

2nd Season of Apple Plus Original Series

The second season of the children's education series produced by the Sesame Street gang,Helpsters, started on October 16.

Ghostwriter follows a group of middle school-aged kids trying to solve the mystery of the family book store. Clues are revealed to them with the help of ghosts that come to life out of classic books. The second season started October 9.

The second season of M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller, Servant, debuted on January 15th. It was renewed for a third season before the second premiered.

Dickinson is a modernized version of the life of young Emily Dickinson set in the 19th Century. The series began airing on January 8 with a new episode each Friday. A third season is in development. 

For All Mankind is the fictional drama series that explores the idea of what would have happened if the space race had continued. The second season begins February 19. The third season is already in development.

New Series and Movies Streaming Soon

Losing Alice is a new psychological thriller series about a 48-year-old woman film director who becomes obsessed with a 24-year-old femme fatale. It starts streaming January 22.

Justin Timberlake is Palmer, a former high school football star who ends up in prison. Upon returning home to Louisiana, circumstances has him caring for a 7 year old boy. The movie premieres January 29.

The Billie Eilish documentary The World's a Little Blurry begins streaming on February 26.

Anthony and Joe Russo's film Cherry stars Tom Holland as an addict who resorts to bank heists to pay his debts. It premieres March 12.

Shows Expected to be Released in 2021

A documentary on the 1960s rock band The Velvet Underground by director Todd Haynes is coming in Summer 2021.

Justin Theroux and Melissa George star in Mosquito Coast based on Justin's uncle's (Paul Theroux) novel. The series follows an idealistic inventor who takes his family to start a new life in Central America's jungle. The original movie with Harrison Ford was made in 1986. While the series was in production before the start of the Apple TV+ launch, it is slated to release "sometime in 2021."

Based on Isaac Asimov's novels, Foundation is about a band of exiles who tries to save humanity and rebuild civilization.

Little is known about the upcoming series, Severance other than that it is a workplace thriller. Ben Stiller will direct the pilot. Christopher Walken, John Turturro, Adam Scott, and Patricia Arquette, are cast in the series. It is the first time Walken has been in a series.

High Desert is another series ordered by Apple that pairs Ben Stiller and Patricia Arquette. Arquette plays a former addict who becomes a private investigator in a California desert town.

Pachinko is a big-budget series adapted from Min Jin Lee's novel of the same name. It follows four generations of a Korean immigrant family through Korea, Japan, and the U.S. 

An unnamed musical comedy series, formerly announced as Schmigadoon!, takes place in a small town where everyone acts as if they exist in a musical. A large ensemble cast includes Cecily Strong, Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, Kristen Chenowith, Jane Krakowski, and others.

Stephen King's 2006 novel Lisey's Story will be made into a limited series. Produced by King and J.J. Abrams, it will star Julianne Moore.

Platonic is a comedy series starring Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen. No release date has been announced. 

More 2nd Season Originals Ordered

The Emmy-nominatedMorning Show has been renewed. 

Trying, the British comedy about a couple trying to adopt a baby, will have a second season. 

Central Park is an animated musical series from the creators of Bob’s Burgers. It has been picked up for a second season.

Jason Sedekis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach who goes to the U.K. to coach a soccer team that has been renewed. 

Little America is an anthology series based on true articles published in Epic Magazine. Each episode tells the story of an immigrant and their American experience. A second season has been ordered. 

Truth be Toldstars Octavia Spencer, who plays a podcaster that looks into the evidence of old crimes to "solve" them. Another season of the series has been ordered. 

Snoopy in Space is the animated series where Charlie Brown and the gang teach kids about space. The second season is in development, but no date has been set. 

The second season ofSee is confirmed. The show stars Jason Mamoa in an apocalyptic future series where generations are born blind. No release date has been set.