August 20, 2019

Apple is about to enter the streaming wars in a big way, and we're now learning more about how the new platform will compare to its main rivals.

Apple TV+ is now set to launch by November of this year, Bloomberg reports. If something about a streaming service launching in November is ringing some bells, it should: that just so happens to be the month that Disney is planning to debut its similarly-titled new streaming service, Disney+.

Apple is reportedly targeting a $9.99 price point for its service, which would make it more expensive than the $6.99 a month Disney+. It would, however, be less expensive than the standard Netflix plan, which costs $12.99 a month, although the cheapest Netflix option is $8.99 a month. Disney will also bundle Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month.

Unlike Netflix, Bloomberg reports that Apple is considering, at least for certain shows, releasing three episodes at once but then debuting episodes weekly from there rather than dropping the entire season in one go. It hasn't been confirmed how Disney+ will go about this, although weekly releases also seems likely, with a report earlier this year suggesting the Disney+ Star Wars show The Mandalorian won't drop its entire season on the same day like a Netflix original.

Plenty of original content for Apple TV+ is in the works like The Morning Show, a drama series about a Today-esque show starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, while Disney is planning originals based on some of its biggest brands, such as Star Wars and Marvel. The Financial Times recently reported that Apple has $6 billion set aside for original movies and TV shows, below the $15 billion that Netflix is spending this year, although NBC's Dylan Byers disputes this and reports the number is "significantly" smaller. Disney plans to spend $1 billion on original Disney+ programing by 2020.

Get ready to reach peak streaming when both services launch this fall. Brendan Morrow

5:39 p.m.

If you can't thank a veteran today, do the next best thing and donate to a non-veteran!

President Trump's campaign fundraising team didn't miss a beat this Veterans Day, running a Facebook ad on Monday encouraging people to say "THANK YOU, VETERANS" by donating to the president's metaphorical war chest.

Trump, who is not a veteran, famously deferred the Vietnam War draft several times.

The ad, which includes a can't-miss 25 percent off coupon, provoked criticism of the president, with veteran Mark Hertling pointing out the somewhat bizarre timing of the Trump campaign's message. A judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million last week over his alleged mishandling of funds for veterans, which were instead used for political purposes, CBS News reports.

The president also celebrated the day by attending New York City's Veterans Day parade, where he took the time to honor Gold Star families, despite his history of feuding with several of them.

Although if Trump really is burying the hatchet this Veterans Day, he should be sure to get the date right in next year's Facebook ad. Marianne Dodson

5:29 p.m.

It's safe to say the Game of Thrones ending proved a little polarizing for anyone whose favorite character wasn't Bran. (Yes, we see you! All 12 of you!)

But if you were a little let down by the finale of the HBO series, take solace in the wisdom of the Mother of Dragons herself, who says expectations were so high that there's no ending that "would have made everyone happy." Emilia Clarke also says she doesn't plan to act alongside dragons again anytime soon, so temper your expectations for Last Christmas accordingly. Read more at Indiewire. Scott Meslow

5:13 p.m.

For 12 seasons, Kaley Cuoco starred on The Big Bang Theory as Penny, the sunny heroine who tolerated her weird neighbors rambling endlessly about Star Trek or Magic: The Gathering.

But according to Cuoco, the character of Penny was originally conceived very differently, as a "dark, brooding unhappy woman," which — while an admittedly unconventional choice for a breezy sitcom — makes a lot more sense for a woman stuck hanging out with those guys for 12 years. Read more at Yahoo Entertainment. Scott Meslow

5:04 p.m.

Endings don't come much more definitive than Avengers: Endgame, which saw most of the original Avengers lineup dead or retired by the time the credits rolled.

But diehard fans might have a glimmer of hope that they'll get to spend a little more time with Captain America, who is elderly but still alive at the end of the movie. "You never say never. I love the character. I don't know," said Evans in a recent interview — so I guess we can all look forward to Captain America: Getting Mad At Teens Who Tweet "OK Boomer" sometime on the horizon.

Read more at Variety. Scott Meslow

4:48 p.m.

Over the weekend, the People's Choice Award for Best Reality Series went to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which topped fellow must-see TV shows like Bachelor in Paradise and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. But while the whole Kardashian clan took the stage to accept the award, Khloé didn't realize she had also won a separate award for Best Reality Star — because come on, she deserves at least two separate trophies for her work on the 17th season of the reality series.

On Twitter, Khloé apologized to fans for not acknowledging the second award on stage, revealing that she hadn't even realized she won it. Don't worry, Khloé: Most of us didn't know the People's Choice Awards were happening either. Read more at People. Scott Meslow

4:42 p.m.

What to do when a pop star takes a show that was scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and pushes it back to 10:30 p.m.? You could chug an extra thermos of coffee, or sleep in so you'll have extra energy later in the day, or you could sue the singer for this incredibly trivial inconvenience.

That's the strategy being pursued by one Florida man, who filed a lawsuit against Madonna alleging that her decision to push back a December concert by two hours constituted a breach of contract. The lawsuit adds that the time change decreased the value of the $1,024.95 he spent on tickets — but come on, at least 40 percent of that is probably Ticketmaster fees. Read more at Page Six. Scott Meslow

3:51 p.m.

Rudy Giuliani's wild cable news appearances may soon return in a brand new form.

President Trump's personal attorney is considering launching his own podcast about the impeachment inquiry, CNN reports. We evidently know this because Giuliani, who recently accidentally texted a reporter his password, was overheard discussing the plans over lunch, talking about picking a logo and how to upload to iTunes. A Giuliani spokesperson confirmed he had this discussion, saying, "Many Americans want to hear directly from Rudy Giuliani."

Giuliani reportedly said during the discussion he'd be looking to "analyze the impeachment in every aspect," and CNN writes that he appears to want four episodes finished before a potential Senate trial begins. The impeachment inquiry is focused on whether Trump improperly withheld aid to Ukraine in order to secure investigations that might help him in the 2020 election, including into former Vice President Joe Biden.

This wouldn't be the first impeachment podcast from a Trump ally, with the president's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, having already launched a podcast and radio show about the inquiry last month. Giuliani recently appeared on an episode of Bannon's show, which was released a day before this lunch conversation took place. Presumably, the appearance helped give him the podcast bug.

Once a regular presence on cable news, Giuliani has stepped back over the past month, with CNN noting his last TV interview came on Oct. 9, the day two of his associates were arrested on money laundering charges. In September, Giuliani infamously admitted in a cable news appearance that he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden moments after denying that he did. This kind of thing created frustration among Trump allies, with one former Trump campaign official telling Politico, "Rudy Giuliani needs to stop talking." Now, he'll evidently be talking impeachment on a regular basis. What could possibly go wrong? Brendan Morrow

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