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Apple’s new TV shows will be nipple-free

Tim Cook doesn’t really want ‘Game of Thrones,’ after all. At least not right away.

Daenarys Targaryan sits beside the bed of her wounded husband Khal Drogo in “Game of Thrones.” HBO

Apple wants to spend $1 billion or more on TV shows, but it still doesn’t really know what it wants to do with those shows.

One thing Apple does know, though: It doesn’t want them to feature sex. Or violence. Or any of the mature stuff you can find in hit TV shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” or “The Walking Dead.”

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That directive has been made clear to Hollywood talent as they pitch Apple’s new TV team, per Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw:

“The company plans to release the first few projects to everyone with an Apple device, potentially via its TV app, and top executives don’t want kids catching a stray nipple. Every show must be suitable for an Apple Store. Instead of the nudity, raw language, and violence that have become staples of many TV shows on cable or streaming services, Apple wants comedies and emotional dramas with broad appeal, such as the NBC hit ‘This Is Us,’ and family shows like ‘Amazing Stories,’” the show Apple has already agreed to fund.

This may not be a terrible idea, especially since Apple hasn’t proven that it has the ability to make TV, period. Better to screw up with inoffensive stuff than to compound the problem with sex and violence.

Then again, Shaw’s piece points out Apple’s mainstream, PG-stance toward content has already hindered its first tentative steps into TV: CEO Tim Cook delayed the release of its “Carpool Karaoke” show earlier this year to scrub “foul language and references to vaginal hygiene” from some episodes of the show.

I’m assuming at least one of those episodes featured comedian Chelsea Handler; earlier this year, Apple employees told me they feared the episode would never air, because Cook thought much of the banter between Handler and musician Blake Shelton was too raunchy for Apple’s audience.

Apparently a sanitized version did get Cook’s approval, though:

In an ideal world, you don’t have Tim Cook making programming decisions about TV shows, period. You have him hiring programmers and letting them do their thing.

But Apple isn’t there yet. Just as important, Apple still doesn’t know what it wants to do with the shows it makes after it first few forays.

It knows it doesn’t want to use them as content marketing for Apple Music, as it has been doing with its video projects so far, but beyond that things are murky. Until it figures that part out, it doesn’t make sense to make bold bets.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.