Apple TV adds FX Now, still sans 'The Simpsons'

Apple's streaming-media device beats Roku by adding an app that its channel-packed rival lacks, but don't expect "The Simpsons" now.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman

Apple TV's walled garden just let in another app: FX Now. David Katzmaier/CNET
Apple TV, the streaming-media box with wide reach but a highly selective collection of channels, just added one app that its main rival Roku lacks: FX Now.

FX Now is the streaming app for 21st Century Fox's networks cable FX, FXX, and FXM, previously available on iOS and Windows 8.

After FXX Networks in November acquired the rights to broadcast "The Simpsons" first 24 seasons in a high-profile syndication deal, the FX Now app was due to begin streaming all 530 episodes of the long-running series. CNET checked the app on Apple TV Tuesday and couldn't find "The Simpsons" available.

In July, FXX previewed a new website and app called "Simpsons World," separate from FX Now, that will allow fans to watch any episode, or clip, at any time. The app was expected to launch in October.

An FX representative didn't immediately respond to questions.

The $99 Apple TV, which connects to televisions to the Internet to stream video through a select number of apps, is one of -- if not the most -- prevalent device of its type, competing against the likes of Roku and newcomers Chromecast from Google and Fire TV from Amazon. Though Apple has sold more of the set-top box than its closest competitor Roku has, Roku often touts that it's used more often -- partly because its stable of thousands of channels contrasts the relatively lean options on Apple TV.