Over two years after news leaked that Dr. Dre was working on a secret Apple Music scripted series called Vital Signs, the project’s fate has been revealed: Apple CEO Tim Cook shelved the project due to its graphic depictions of violence, sex and drug use.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cook viewed Vital Signs over a year ago and was “troubled” by the series, which featured characters doing lines of cocaine, gun violence and an explicit orgy scene at a Los Angeles mansion that gave the series notoriety before it was even announced.
The six-episode, semi-autobiographical series starred Dr. Dre and an impressive cast that reportedly featured actors like Sam Rockwell, Michael K. Williams and Ian McShane, each of whom portrayed a sliver of the producer’s psyche; McShane played “Vengeance,” the actor revealed in an April 2017 interview, and Rockwell was “Ego.” McShane also said that Vital Signs would arrive in August 2017.
The Wall Street Journal points to Vital Signs‘ cancellation – Cook told executive producer Jimmy Iovine that Apple couldn’t distribute the series – as indicative of Apple Music’s struggle to find footing in the streaming video industry already populated by Netflix, Hulu and countless network offshoots.
Reps for Apple and Dr. Dre did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Post-Vital Signs, Apple Music’s aim shifted toward “high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal,” and has worked out production deals with basketball star Kevin Durant, Kumail Nanjiani. Steven Spielberg (an Amazing Stories reboot) and Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who will star together in a series about a morning news show.
A potential series about the late George Michael is also among the over two-dozen shows in development at Apple Music.