As people are forced to spend more time confined at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple is allowing free streaming of some Apple TV Plus original shows and movies for a limited time, including one of its best reviewed series, Little America. Viewers will also get free access to other premium shows and movies from HBO and EPIX, among others, on the Apple TV app.
Apple announced the move late Thursday, saying the movies and shows it selected for free viewing are family-friendly. (You know, like the series about a a psychologically broken family grieving a dead infant.)
So, yes, M. Night Shyamalan's thriller Servant is included, as is immigrant anthology series Little America that Kumail Nanjiiani helped produce -- the two series are among the better reviewed shows in Apple TV Plus' catalog, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Also included is wildlife documentary The Elephant Queen, and additional comedy and children's programming. A full list of the free Apple titles is included below.
You need an Apple ID to get the free programming. Apple TV Plus normally costs $5 a month, or $50 a year, though Apple was already offering a free subscription for a year to anyone who has bought an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch or Mac since the fall.
Apple TV Plus launched last year as its subscription video service in the streaming wars, battling a crop of deep-pocketed tech and media companies pouring money into creating subscription video services to take on Netflix. Along with Apple, upstart competitors like Disney Plus and HBO Max are throwing billions of dollars into prestige TV to launch their streaming services.
The full lineup of free Apple TV Plus programming includes:
- The Elephant Queen, a documentary film about a mother elephant
- Little America
- For All Mankind, an alternative retelling of the space race
- Dickinson, the comedy about poet Emily Dickinson as a young woman starring Hailee Steinfeld
- Helpsters, a Sesame Street spinoff
- Ghostwriter, a kids program about four youngsters who team up with a ghost in a neighborhood bookstore
- Animated series Snoopy in Space