By Kia Kokalitcheva/ Fortune
“Planet of the Apps” follows mobile developers as they seek success for their apps. Mobile apps like Snapchat and Uber have become incredibly entrenched in our culture. But how are apps even made?
That’s the question the upcoming original series Planet of the Apps, co-produced by Propagate Content’s Ben Silverman and Howard Owens, music artist Will.i.am, and Apple, seeks to answer. The series will follow a few different teams of app developers as they work to build and market their mobile apps. The idea is to give the audience an inside look into the process of building these products, some of which can have a profound influence on our society.
“They’ve become so culturally relevant, and people think they can just make them,” Silverman told Fortune during an event—part-cocktail hour, part-casting call—in San Francisco
The event was the first of four the show’s team is hosting in partnership with Product Hunt, a San Francisco startup whose online leaderboard for tech products has garnered a passionate community of enthusiasts and, most importantly, app-makers. Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.
“Ben said to me, ‘I want to create the American Idol of tech, of apps,’” Owens said at the event, referring to the popular singing competition that has minted successful pop stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
News of the series first surfaced in March, though few details were available at the time. Silverman had previously worked closely with Apple during his time at NBC. The TV series The Office, which he produced, was one of the first to be made available through Apple’s iTunes, he said
Planet of the Apps represents Apple’s first foray into original content—an important tool as it continues to expand its media-streaming ambitions. The company is also rumoured to be working on its own streaming service to compete with cable television, though a new report suggests that television networks aren’t very receptive to its proposed deal terms.
Silverman’s comments about the fascination with app-building echo the same sentiments the team behind AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, a scripted show set during the personal computer revolution in the 1980s, expressed earlier this month at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo.
With the pervasiveness of modern technology, people are deeply interested in the people and events that brought us computers, laptops, smartphones, and the Internet. “There’s really a question of, ‘How did we get here?’” said co-creator Christopher Cantwell in Aspen.
Though no air date has yet been announced, Planet of the Apps is set to film mostly in Los Angeles from the end of the year through early 2017, according to its website. Like all other shows and movies exploring the tech industry, it will have to strike a balance between being attractive and understandable to a mainstream audience, yet remaining as authentic and accurate as possible.
“We hope to be as authentic as possible, and having Apple as co-producers will help with the authenticity,” said Silverman.