Apple’s latest addition to its upcoming video streaming service is a timely one. The company has picked up “Little America,” a half-hour anthology series which looks at the “funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and surprising stories” of immigrants in America. The series comes from Oscar-nominated screenwriters of “The Big Sick,” Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and Emily V. Gordon, and Emmy-nominated producer and writer Lee Eisenberg (“The Office,” “SMILF”).
Eisenberg will also exec produce alongside Emmy winning producer, writer and director Alan Yang (“Master of None,””Parks and Recreation”), and he will serve as showrunner.
Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis will executive produce for Epic Magazine, where the stories originated, alongside co-executive producer Arthur Spector.
“Little America” is being produced by Universal Television for Apple.
The series, which was previously in development, was inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine which aim to humanize immigrants at a time when nationalism and distrust of outsiders has taken root in the U.S.
Everyone here came from somewhere else. Even Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait at some point. This is the basic American idea — an identity open to all — but it can be easy to forget from inside. And that’s when politics can turn ugly, as it has recently, with our political narrative becoming a story of blame and fear. “Little America” is meant to counter that narrative with a fuller portrait of our most recent arrivals.
This is arguably Apple’s first show that has a political undertone, in the sense that it aims to increase empathy around the topic of immigration in a nation that’s currently lacking.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke out against the family separation taking place at the U.S. border, calling the situation “inhumane” and “heartbreaking,” so it’s not surprising that Apple would direct some of its investment towards a series like this.
Apple began developing the series in February, and has now given it a straight-to-series order. It’s only the second show at Apple to go that route, Deadline reports. (Octavia Spencer’s “Are You Sleeping” is the other.)
The show joins Apple’s growing roster of TV shows for its Netflix-like streaming service, reporting arriving in 2019.
Others in its lineup include s a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, a Reese Witherspoon- and Jennifer Anniston-starring series set in the world of morning TV, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, a thriller starring Octavia Spencer, a Kristen Wiig-led comedy, a Kevin Durant-inspired scripted basketball show, a documentary about extraordinary homes, a series from “La La Land’s” director, a series about Emily Dickinson, and a show inspired by kid report Hilde Lysiak.