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When viewers last tuned into The Morning Show, the anchors played by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon offered a searing on-air takedown of the broadcast network home to their fictional TV morning show. After exposing a work culture rife with misogyny, toxicity and sexual misconduct, the news feed cut to black and the season one finale ended in silence, prompting many questions about what the ramifications will look like come season two.
On Tuesday, Apple teased what some of that story will look like in a first look trailer for the drama’s return. The Apple TV+ series from showrunner Kerry Ehrin returns with 10 episodes Sept 17. Episodes will rollout weekly.
The new footage sets the Morning Show team on a new course, with veteran anchor Alex Levy (Aniston) publicly leaving the show and her rising co-anchor Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon) — who has ditched her brown locks — staying on course at the news desk. Alex is shown telling Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) that she will not be returning, despite his protests, as the news exec continues to try to play peacemaker with his starring women. “Don’t tell me it’s gonna work out,” Bradley tells him.
The teaser trailer also sheds light on how Carell’s role will continue after the tragic #MeToo scandal of season one (“I never wanted to be this person,” he says) and introduces newcomer Julianna Margulies as Laura Peterson, a UBA news anchor. The trailer ends with Alex, after a scene of her arguing with Bradley over what happened, pondering an answer to Peterson’s question: “There’s been a lot written about The Morning Show and a lust for ratings that made even the worst behavior permissible. Do you feel that the important issues have been addressed?”
Along with executive producers Aniston and Witherspoon, the star-studded returning cast includes Carell, Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin and Marcia Gay Harden.
Joining the cast for season two, along with Emmy and SAG Award-winner Margulies, are Greta Lee as Stella Bak, a tech world wunderkind who has joined the UBA executive team; Ruairi O’Connor as Ty Fitzgerald, a smart and charismatic YouTube star; Hasan Minhaj as Eric Nomani, a new member of the Morning Show team; Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor as Cybil Richards, the savvy chairwoman of the UBA board; Tara Karsian as Gayle Berman, a news producer; and Valeria Golino as Paola Lambruschini, a documentary filmmaker.
The official logline reads: Picking up after the explosive events of season one, season two finds the Morning Show team emerging from the wreckage of Alex (Aniston) and Bradley’s (Witherspoon) actions to a new UBA and a world in flux, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.
The award-winning first season of The Morning Show ended its run in December, 2019. Production on season two was delayed amid the Hollywood-wide shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. When discussing what to expect from the sophomore season at the time, Ehrin told The Hollywood Reporter: “The world of media is changing so rapidly and the story of a broadcast network in that universe is very interesting to me. It’s like a huge building fell on everybody and it’s about escaping from the wreckage.”
Developed by Ehrin, who serves as showrunner and is an executive producer, The Morning Show is executive produced by Michael Ellenberg through Media Res, which also serves as the studio, along with Aniston and Kristin Hahn through Echo Films; Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter through Hello Sunshine; and Mimi Leder, who also directs several episodes.
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