When They Call Me Magic, a docuseries about Magic Johnson, premieres later this month, it’ll do so on Apple TV+. But it could have landed on NBC instead, says the former Basketball player.
Speaking in a lengthy interview with Variety, Johnson went into more detail about how the documentary series came about. We already knew that the popularity of Michael Jordan’s The last Dance over on Netflix was a factor in They Call Me Magic being made. But now we know that Apple TV+ almost wasn’t the series’ home.
Johnson says that NBC was the outfit that was “serious” about making it happen — that was until Apple TV+ came calling.
The success of that 2020 sports retrospective from ESPN Films and Netflix — which premiered during the early stay-at-home days of the pandemic and inspired obsessive viewership — had networks and streamers all over town knocking on Johnson’s door. “Everybody called,” he says. “Everybody put in a bid. And then NBC got serious. And Apple said, ‘No way.’ I love their approach, because they waited. They came in and said, ‘This is over.'”
That makes it sound like Apple’s deep pockets came into effect when getting the deal done, something we’ve heard before. The people behind Pachinko said that the show was only possible because of Apple’s funding — something other companies weren’t interested in matching.
Pachinko went on to be something of a sleeper hit. There’s no doubt that They Call Me Magic will capture attention when it arrives on April 22, though.
If you want to enjoy They Call Me Magic in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today.
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