How to watch Black Bird online: release date and time

Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, talking on a phone in prison, in Black Bird
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

You get to go behind two different sets of bars when you watch Black Bird on Apple TV Plus. This new limited series arrives not only with serious true crime credentials, but also the final performance on TV from the iconic Ray Liotta. It also looks like Apple TV Plus' next big hit, with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Black Bird's story is simple, inspired by true events and adapted by crime novelist legend Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) from James Keene's 2010 In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption. 

In it, we meet Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), who has gone from high school football hero to big-time criminal. The son of decorated policeman James "Big Jim" Keene (Liotta), Egerton gets one last chance to avoid a 10-year sentence in a minimum-security prison in the form of a visit to a maximum security facility.

On this trip to a facility for the criminally insane, he'll have to find his inner detective and get a confession with big details out of suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser). Hall is believed to have murdered a series of young girls, but law enforcement needs more proof before his appeal goes through.

Black Bird definitely looks like the next great Apple TV Plus show to us, as we declared it one of our picks for what to watch in July. Read more for everything you need to know about how to watch Black Bird online.

When does Black Bird come out?

Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, walking in a prison, in Black Bird

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Black Bird debuts on Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) on Friday (July 8) at 3 a.m ET, with its first two episodes released at the same time. The six-episode season will unfurl with one new episode on each of the following Fridays.

For future episodes, note that we've noticed that Apple TV Plus shows can often debut at 9 p.m. ET on the night before scheduled debuts.

How to watch Black Bird for free online

You can sample Black Bird for free, provided you've not signed up for Apple's streaming service before. That's thanks to the Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial (opens in new tab)

Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial (opens in new tab)

You can watch Black Bird for free, if you're a new Apple TV Plus subscriber who can take advantage of the Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial (opens in new tab). After that, it costs $4.99 per month. Apple TV Plus features excellent originals such as The Afterparty, Severance and Pachinko.

Black Bird trailer

Apple released one Black Bird trailer so far, and it sets the mood properly. Egerton seems a bit cold, but he speaks with a subtle desperation when his dad visits him in prison. The most important facet of the trailer, though, is how it gives us a sneak peak at Paul Walter Hauser's performance as Larry Hall. Utterly frightening, and sporting a questionable pair of mutton-chop sideburns, Hauser's appearance in this trailer — and his lines at the end of it — should be enough for crime fans to hit play. 

Black Bird episodes schedule

There are six episodes in Black Bird, and Apple TV Plus will release the first two episodes together on July 8. The next four episodes arrive one at a time on the following Fridays.

  • Black Bird episode 1: July 8
  • Black Bird episode 2: July 8
  • Black Bird episode 3: July 15
  • Black Bird episode 4: July 22
  • Black Bird episode 5: July 29
  • Black Bird episode 6: August 5

How to watch Black Bird from anywhere

If you're stuck abroad — in one of the few countries where Apple TV Plus is not available — you will likely run into geo-fenced restrictions on the platforms and services you can use. But with the help of a virtual private network (VPN), you can watch Black Bird and all the other shows you want on the services you already pay for no matter where you are. 

Based on our testing, the best VPN is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), which is easy to use and delivers fast internet speeds, making it simple to set up for streaming in no time at all. It also works on practically any device, starting with iOS and Android and including streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV. 

ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)

Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), is a top choice for those looking to watch Ted Lasso. It's got a solid mix of safety, speed and ease-of-use. Plus, you get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year. If you've never used a VPN before and are curious and not sure, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.