Apple’s reality-competition series “Planet of the Apps” has signed actress Gwyneth Paltrow to serve as one of the mentors on the show, which will have app developers going head-to-head for a chance to win $10 million in funding. It is scheduled to debut next year.
Paltrow will be joined on the mentor panel by tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk (Vayner Media, DailyVee) and musician/entrepreneur will.i.am, who signed on to the project last month. Paltrow and will.i.am will also serve as executive producers, along with Ben Silverman (“The Biggest Loser”) and Howard T. Owens (“MasterChef Junior”) of Propagate Content, which is co-producing the series with Apple.
“Our team of advisors are entrepreneurs who have each launched and built successful brands and can tap into their personal experience to offer advice to the app developers selected for the series,” said Silverman and Owens in a statement.
Paltrow, who won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), is no stranger to giving advice, and not all of it has been well-received. In 2008, she launched the weekly lifestyle publication Goop, which has inspired equal measures of scorn and guffaws for its recommendations of outrageous and outrageously expensive personal items (e.g., a $15,000 24-carat gold-plated dildo) and treatments (e.g., vaginal/uterine steam cleaning). In 2013, she teamed with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson on the AOL series “The Restart Project” (below), produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, in which they helped women who had gone through physical or emotional trauma rejuvenate their lives through diet and fitness. There are some who question her qualifications to dispense such advice: Last year, Britain’s Telegraph published the article “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?,” in which it dubbed her the “poster girl for celebrity pseudo science” and had real a scientist examine some of her wellness solutions.
Last month, Apple posted an open casting call on planetoftheapps.com, looking for 100 developers to participate in the series. Online applications for contestants are being accepted through Aug. 26. Interested developers must agree to have an iOS, macOS, tvOS or watchOS app in a beta or functional state by Oct. 21.
The series has partnered with tech discovery web site Product Hunt on a four-city tour designed to bring together tech entrepreneurs and introduce them to the team behind the series. It has already made stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, and will conclude in Austin today.