Apple wins first original video Emmy for ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Ahead the launch of its own video streaming service, Apple has been awarded its first-ever Primetime Emmy for its original video programming, for “Carpool Karaoke.” The series won the “Outstanding Short Form Variety Series” category on Sunday night. This is not Apple’s first-ever Emmy – it has won other technical and engineering awards in the past, including last year’s win for Siri integration in Apple TV – but it is its first for original video.

The series beat out “Between The Scenes – The Daily Show,” “Creating Saturday Night Live,” “Gay of Thrones,” “Honest Trailers,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – Cover Room.”

Apple’s “Carpool Karaoke” was spun out from a recurring sketch on CBS’ “The Late Show With James Corden” in 2016, and was one of the first originals from Apple, along with its Shark Tank-like “Planet of the Apps, which largely bombed.

Over “Carpool Karaoke’s” past episodes, it has featured a number of big-name guests, including Will Smith, Alicia Keys, John Legend, LeBron James, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Seth MacFarlane, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, John Cena, Shakira, Trevor Noah, and many others.

The series itself received almost universally negative reception from critics, but nevertheless earned a second season.

Apple has since shifted its focus from shows like this to other more high-profile series with the hires of Sony TV vets, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.

Its upcoming video streaming service now has a number of anticipated shows, including a Witherspoon-backed comedy, a thriller starring Octavia Spencera revival of “Amazing Stories” exec-produced by Steven Spielberg, a new space drama from “Battlestar Galactica’s” creator Ronald D. Moore, called “See,” a scripted basketball show based on Kevin Durant’s life, a show from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation,original shows produced by Oprah Winfrey, a psychological thriller produced by M. Night Shyamalan and many others.

It has also been making acquisitions to expand the service, with additions like the documentary “The Elephant Queen” and animated film “Wolfwalkers.”

The company is expected to launch its streaming service in March 2019 – something we may hear more about at Apple’s press event on Wednesday.