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The team at the Morning Show is facing an uphill battle in season two.
In addition to the fictional morning show having to dig itself out from the wreckage of the season one finale — when the starring anchors, played by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, revealed a pervasive #MeToo work culture on air before their live feed cut to black — the second season of the acclaimed Apple TV+ drama will bring about new threats for the UBA flagship, including the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a bombshell exposé about the behind-the-scenes troubles and racism among its ranks.
Nine months after the events of the tragic season one finale took place, the trailer for season two opens with The Morning Show facing a new reality: ratings are down and the change that Alex (Aniston) and Bradley (Witherspoon) risked everything to usher in seems to have stalled. Earlier this summer, an initial look at season two revealed that Alex (Aniston) leaves the Morning Show after everything that happened. Monday’s new official trailer now sheds light on some of the fight to bring her back into the fold.
“You are the only thing that can save us,” her boss, played by Billy Crudup, tells the famous journalist. Eventually, Alex acquiesces and reunites with Bradley, who had initially been paired with a new co-anchor (Desean Terry). “There is a pattern of behavior around here that disadvantages the people of color,” he at one point tells his co-worker (Karen Pittman), who is also Black.
Alex’s homecoming is also not sitting well with Bradley, who worries, “I feel like they’re bringing in my big sister to clean up my mess.”
Much of the first season revolved around the juicy and complicated relationship between Alex and Bradley, as the starring anchors seesawed between being at each other’s throats and teaming up for a larger cause. One source of that tension was the role that Alex played in the #MeToo downfall of her longtime co-anchor Mitch (Steve Carell), and the new footage shows Alex continuing to deal with that complicity. Another was Alex’s old school desire to stay relevant contrasted with Bradley’s unwavering commitment to be the next rising star. “We need to get our facts straight. We need to decide what the truth is,” Alex at one point tells Bradley, who scoffs, “Did you hear what you just said?”
The trailer also ends with the promise of another classic Crudup monologue: “This is a battle for the soul of the universe,” the network exec passionately tells the board.
Along with Aniston, Witherspoon, Crudup, Carell, Pittman and Terry, the returning cast includes Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Bel Powley, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin and Marcia Gay Harden.
Joining the cast for season two are Julianna Margulies as Laura Peterson, a UBA news anchor; 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; 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.
Will Arnett, unannounced until now, also appears in the trailer as a new character named Doug, who is Alex’s agent.
The official logline for season two sets the stage for 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 ended its run in December of 2019; production on season two was delayed amid the pandemic. When discussing what to expect from the sophomore season at the time, showrunner Kerry 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 is also 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.
The Morning Show returns Sept. 17 with 10 episodes and a weekly Friday rollout on Apple TV+.
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