Apple TV+ will launch on November 1 with a diverse category of movies, original shows, and documentaries. The Morning Show – starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon – is just one of many shows the video subscription service will be offering. Apple TV described the show as, “What happens when the people you trust to tell the truth prove themselves to be dishonest? The Morning Show follows the free fall of an early morning newscast in the wake of a scandal, and its struggle to survive in an era when news arrives in the palm of your hand.”
After the Me Too movement started to expand the globe in 2017, there have been significant changes in most of the work environments, personal interactions, and anywhere where the chances of sexual harassment are a possibility – i.e. everywhere. The Morning Show deals with a Me Too environment and a rivalry between two female figures in the daily news while age creeps in as a factor for Alex Levy (Aniston).
“I was astounded by how honest a lot of female anchors were with myself and Jen,” said Witherspoon. “I think most people would find it shocking that women in that position, of what we perceive as power, are looked at as expendable.”
In August, the show was being developed, but after the Me Too movement blow-up in October, the show changed from its original pitch. “I don’t think I’ve seen a time in my life where more people have lost their entire careers over misconduct,” explained Witherspoon. “People who were seemingly untouchable. We had to start totally over and redevelop the show, but it actually turned out to be so much more potent and topical.” Aniston commented, “When #MeToo happened…it’s like, we can’t not address it.”
A different story meant replacing the original showrunner, Jay Carson, with Kerry Ehrin. “I love Broadcast News and I love Network, so it feels like an area where you can have a lot of humor but you can also get at some real subjects,” Ehrin said. “I’ve been a woman in a very high-stakes business for 30 years and I’ve seen all kinds of stuff. I wanted to write complicated female characters that weren’t perfect and that weren’t bitches.”
Steve Carell plays Alex Levy’s co-host on The Morning Show, Mitch Kessler. Kessler was fired from his position after being accused of alleged sexual misconduct which Levy is told hours before having to make the announcement on-air. “Mitch is a very flawed human being and someone with enormous personal blind spots,” Carell said.
Kessler and Carell share one trait: they are both considered favorites in America. “No one else could play that part,” Aniston said. “There’s nothing you could find about Steve in a closet.”
Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson is brought in for an interview on The Morning Show around the same time as Levy’s contract is up for renegotiation “This role never could’ve come to me any sooner than now,” she said. “It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve had. I knew I was up to the task, but then there was the excavation of all the emotions in order to create this world for this woman. All of her lifelines are falling away. I would walk out of some of those scenes feeling like a manhole cover just came off my back.”
The Morning Show will premiere in the fall with 10 episodes on Apple TV+.