One of the big events as part of the launch of the Apple TV+ streaming service is the arrival of The Morning Show, the series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, which takes viewers behind the scenes on what has often been described as open warfare in the world of morning television news shows. Any doubts of that, just think about the “coups” that saw Deborah Norville replace Jane Pauley or Savannah Guthrie taking over for Ann Curry on NBC’s Today.
The series is inspired by the non-fiction book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV by CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, who not only serves as a consulting producer on the series, but has updated the book as well. One point Brian makes in an exclusive interview is, “The book at this point is six years old, so it serves as source material about the world of morning TV, but the story that we’re telling in the Apple series is wholly original fiction. It really takes its inspiration from the #MeToo movement of the past two years, and what happened on morning television when Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose were fired from their respective jobs on NBC and CBS. It was clear that The Morning Show on Apple was going to have to reflect this new reality.”
“And in reality,” he adds, “these are programs historically produced and run mostly by male executives, mostly targeting female viewers. There are tensions and clashes as a result, and I would say that’s changed in recent years with top female producers at the network morning shows now, but historically that has been a drama-fueled world.”
The premise of The Morning Show has Alex Levy (Jennifer) running a news program of that name that has exceeded expectations and has been credited — rightly or wrongly — for changing television. But then her on-air partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler (Steve), is fired for being part of a scandal involving sexual misconduct. Suddenly Alex finds herself fighting to keep her job as the show’s top news anchor, but also has to deal with the rivalry of aspiring journalist Bradley Jackson (Reese), who is determined to “overthrow” her and take Alex’s position.
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