11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Steve Carell Set as Male Lead in Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon Apple Drama
Steve Carell is returning to television.
The Office alum has booked the male lead in Apple's untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The casting, which marks Carell's first series regular role since he wrapped the NBC comedy in 2011, marks the latest high-profile star to join an Apple series.
Picked up with a two-season, 20-episode order, the project will offer an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning. Brian Stelter's book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV serves as background for the series, which is based on an original concept by Michael Ellenberg.
Carell will play Mitch Kessler, a morning show anchor who is struggling to maintain relevance in a changing media landscape. Production on the show is set to begin next week in Los Angeles.
Carell's credits include co-creating, writing and executive producing TBS' Angie Tribeca and, more recently, starring in the features The Big Short, Foxcatcher, Battle of the Sexes and Beautiful Boy. He is repped by WME, Media Four and Ziffren Brittenham.
Aniston — for whom the Apple series marks her TV return following Friends — and her Echo Films partner Kristin Hahn are exec producing alongside Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine topper Lauren Levy Neustadter. Ellenberg's Media Res serves as the studio on the series. Mimi Leder (ER) will exec produce and direct. Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel, Friday Night Lights) exec produces and serves as showrunner on the series. Stelter serves as a consultant.
Still to be determined is how — and when — Apple will release its scripted original programming.