Apple is developing it’s first original television programming — and is working on scripted series starring Dr. Dre.
Multiple sources say the 50-year-old mogul is starring in and executive producing his own six-episode vehicle, dubbed Vital Signs, and the production is being bankrolled by Apple. The series likely will be distributed via Apple Music, the company’s subscription streaming site, but it’s not clear if Apple TV, the iTunes store or other Apple platforms (or even a traditional television distributor) will be involved. Apple and a rep for Dre declined to comment.
Those who have seen descriptions of the Dr. Dre show say it is billed as semi-autobiographical, with each episode focusing on a different emotion and how Dre’s character deals with it. Sources say that Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae (Murder in the First) are among the additional cast.
While technically a half-hour, the show is not a comedy. Instead, it is described as a dark drama with no shortage of violence and sex. In fact, an episode filming Monday and Tuesday this week featured an extended orgy scene. Sources tell THR naked extras simulated sex in a mansion in the Bird Streets neighborhood of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills. (Dre’s wife Nicole Young was on set to witness the shenanigans, one insider says.)
Veteran music video director Paul Hunter is helming Vital Signs, which is also being produced under his Eye Candy Banner alongside producers Aaron Ginsburg and William Green. Empire co-exec producer/writer Robert Munic was hand-picked by Dre to write all six episodes and exec produce. The first season will roll out all at once, regardless of venue, a la Netflix. Apple is said to be very bullish on the project.
This sounds like it’ll be Power-Meets-Empire — and we’re here for it!