In 2016, Dr. Dre decided to make a semi-autobiographical TV series called Vital Signs, proving that if anything, he’s definitely making a life-long commitment to the whole “doctor” thing. Vital Signs was snatched up by Apple, but CEO Tim Cook has discovered that the show has too much sex, drugs, and violence for his gentle eyes, and he’s no longer interested.
According to The Wall Street Journal (via Business Insider), Vital Signs was to be Apple’s first scripted drama series. I guess Tim Cook saw the title Vital Signs and the name Dr. Dre, and assumed he was getting himself into an ER knock off. Because that’s the only explanation for why he was so shocked to discover that a show partially based on rapper Dr. Dre’s life – a man with an album titled The Chronic featuring a song titled “Deeez Nuuuts” – might have scenes of drug use and fucking. Six episodes were filmed in 2016. A scandalized Tim Cook watched the first season last year, and decided to shelve it.
Tim Cook was reportedly shocked at scenes featuring “cocaine consumption, an orgy, and guns being drawn.” He reportedly told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine that the show was too much for Apple, and couldn’t be shown. Sources say that Tim Cook wants Apple’s television programming to “high-quality,” but be “family friendly.” Apple doesn’t want any kind of edgy programming, and so they’ve shelved the show indefinitely.
It’s not just tits and coke that Apple is opposed to. Apple reportedly picked up a series by M. Night Shyamalan about a couple who loses their child. Apple insisted all crucifixes be removed from the characters’ house, because they want to steer clear of “religion and politics.”
Last year it was reported that Apple was sinking $1 billion into original content to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Except that I’m pretty sure there’s no competition there. You can see boobs and drugs on most platforms, and if you want violence, there’s nothing more unsettling than watching people brutally assault cakes on Netflix’s Nailed It.
Hopefully someone will buy Dr. Dre’s show from Apple (I’m looking at you, HBO – it sounds right up your alley). If not, then I hope Dr. Dre is okay with Apple watering down his semi-autobiographical story. Like a scene in which Dr. Dre’s character slips a Suge Knight-ish character $20 and politely asks him to please stop littering in the neighborhood.