Apple's big push into original TV could start next March

The company is on track to spend more than $1 billion on original programming.

Apple's original TV programming has been lackluster so far, to say the least. Planet of the Apps? Don't bother. Carpool Karaoke? Not much better. But the company isn't giving up and, according to The New York Times, has a major expansion in the works. Since October, Apple's top brass has bought 12 projects — nine of which have been green-lit for a full series — with a budget that will soon exceed $1 billion. The new slate of shows will reportedly launch somewhere between March and summer 2019, which is aggressive considering that most premium shows take a year to shoot.

Apple is playing catch-up with Netflix and Amazon's already enormous spending. To coax viewers from rival streaming services, it's revived Steven Spielberg's anthology series Amazing Stories and ordered a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore. The company has also bought a psychological thriller by M. Night Shyamalan (who is good again, right?) a drama series from La La Land director Damien Chazellae and an untitled series about a network morning show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. According to The New York Times, Apple is also working on projects with Octavia Spencer and Kristen Wiig.

These are big names, however they're no guarantee of streaming success. Apple has shown that it's prepared to outbid some of its biggest rivals — now it needs to deliver on programming that is actually worth watching.