‘The Morning Show’ With Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell Tackles The #MeToo Movement
“We had to deal with this idea that the entire system changed…” – Reese Witherspoon on the premise of ‘The Morning Show’
TV veterans Jennifer Aniston (“Friends”) and Steve Carrell (“The Office”) return to the small screen, depicting some big issues in today’s culture. “The Morning Show” debuted on November 1st as the first title from the new streaming service Apple TV+.
Early press revealed that it’s an obvious commentary on the #MeToo movement—even paralleling a very visible and recent case of it: Aniston and Carell play TV morning show hosts thrown into controversy when Carell’s character is accused of sexual misconduct and fired. The fallout of a formerly beloved media figure being disgraced and his shocked colleagues’ quest to resolve the PR nightmare, forms the crux of the new series.
Also starring is Reese Witherspoon as a regional reporter who becomes a temporary replacement on the fictitious show within the show, Billy Crudup as a network suit, and Martin Short as another fallen public figure accused of sexual misconduct.
The initial premise of the new series was not intended to depict this pressing social issue, considering it was pitched by execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg back in June 2017. However, given its subject matter, perhaps showrunners saw an opportunity to explore an increasingly visible issue in the media industry.
“We had to deal with this idea that the entire system changed,” Witherspoon told The Hollywood Reporter at the NYC premiere at Lincoln Center. “People who were in power were getting fired and then people who were sort of next in line, who never thought that they would have power, were suddenly empowered. And I think that’s happening in corporations all over America where people are figuring out what their new role is.”
Although “The Morning Show” is tapped to be a drama, with two lead comedy stars, it promises humor too.
“I wanted it to be heartbreaking and funny,” said staff writer Kerry Ehrin. “That was really the goal in terms of tone. I wanted it to be a fun destination, even though it was telling, sometimes, sad or dark stories. I wanted it to be a place that people wanted to come to because the characters are so real and engaging, and they’re people you want to be with.”
The show was also inspired by CNN host Brian Stelter’s book, “Top of The Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV”. Stelter also serves as a consulting producer on the series, ensuring that the fictitious show within a show is as authentic as possible.
The first season of “The Morning Show” will have 10 episodes, followed by a second season. The first three episodes are available now on Apple TV+.