Apple is throwing some major bucks into original streaming programming, the latest example of which is Steve Carrell’s new show, which had previously attracted Friends star Jennifer Aniston and Big Little Lies‘ Reese Witherspoon. The series, which is a drama set in the world of morning television (we’re talking about you Today and Good Morning America), is based on Brian Stelter’s non-fiction book, Top of the Morning.
It will be a fictionalized (though obviously inspired by real life) take on the personalities, hidden agendas, and backstabbing that takes place on these shows — a perfect example from the book being the way that Ann Curry was removed from Today after being named co-host.
“Way back in January 2012,” Brian related to Huffington Post Live, “this plan started to come together, jokingly nicknamed Operation Bambi, because it was so complicated. You had to renew Matt Lauer’s contract first, make sure he was going to stay at Today, then remove Ann Curry and replace her with Savannah Guthrie. Ann was unaware of this for months, which is what makes it so strange. Now, looking back, we can understand why she was so emotional that day [she announced she was leaving]. They really did try to choreograph it in such a way that she would be able to exit gracefully and there would be this whole other option that she’d want to take — but she didn’t.”
As he points out, Ann had waited 15 years for the job of co-host. “It was her dream job,” he said, “and I think part of why Today was so wounded by the whole thing is that so many viewers could relate to that. You know, we’ve all waited for a dream job at one time or another. We’ve all waited for our turn.”
Sounds pretty dramatic to us, and the type of thing that could easily be adapted into a scripted show.
To give you more of an idea of what we might be in for, here’s the official description of the book from Grand Central Publishing: “When America wakes up with personable and charming hosts like Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, it’s hard to imagine their show bookers having to guard a guest’s hotel room all night to prevent rival shows from poaching. But that is just a glimpse of the intense reality revealed in this gripping look into the most competitive time slot in television.
“Featuring exclusive content about all the major players of the 2000s, Top of the Morning illuminates what it takes to win the AM — when every single viewer counts, tons of jobs are on the line, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Stelter is behind the scenes as Ann Curry replaces Meredith Vieira on the Today show, only to be fired a year later in a fiasco that made national headlines. He’s backstage as Good Morning America launches an attack to dethrone Today and end the longest consecutive winning streak in morning television history. And he’s there as Roberts is diagnosed with a crippling disease — on what should be the happiest day of her career. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and discover the dark side of the sun.”
If you’re a fan of Jennifer Aniston or Friends, check out the first episode of CloserWeekly.com’s Classic TV & Film podcast, which features an interview with the author of a new book all about Friends, I’ll Be There For You.