The Morning Show (American TV series)

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The Morning Show
Also known asMorning Wars
Genre
Created byJay Carson
Inspired byTop of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV
by Brian Stelter
Developed byKerry Ehrin
Starring
Music byCarter Burwell
Opening theme"Nemesis" by Benjamin Clementine
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30
Production
Executive producers
Cinematography
  • Michael Grady
  • David Lanzenberg
  • John Brawley
  • Jeffrey Waldron
  • John Grillo
  • Tami Reiker
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time46–69 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01) –
present (present)

The Morning Show, also known as Morning Wars in Australia and Indonesia,[1][2] is an American drama television series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell that premiered on Apple TV+ on November 1, 2019.[3][4] The series is inspired by Brian Stelter's 2013 book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.[2][5] The show examines the characters and culture behind a network broadcast morning news program. After allegations of sexual misconduct, the male co-anchor of the program is forced off the show. Aspects of the #MeToo movement are examined from multiple perspectives as more information comes out regarding said misconduct. Subsequent seasons focus on other political topics and current events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial inequality, the Capitol insurrection, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The second season premiered on September 17, 2021.[6] In January 2022, the series was renewed for a third season,[7] which premiered on September 13, 2023.[8] The series was renewed for a fourth season ahead of the third season premiere.

Premise[edit]

Alex Levy co-anchors The Morning Show (TMS), a popular morning news program broadcast from Manhattan on the UBA network, which has excellent viewership ratings and is perceived to have changed the face of American television.

In the first season, after her on-air partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler, is fired amidst a sexual misconduct scandal, Alex fights to retain her job as a top news anchor while paired with a new partner, Bradley Jackson, a field reporter whose series of impulsive decisions increasingly threatens the network.

In the second season, the network CEO attempts to convince Alex to return to TMS as the COVID-19 pandemic engulfs the United States and the show itself. Meanwhile, Bradley deals with an identity crisis.

In the third season, the network struggles for viewers for its subscription service and contemplates a takeover by tech titan Paul Marks.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Shari Belafonte as Julia
  • Victoria Tate as Rena Robinson, Chip's assistant
  • Hannah Leder as Isabella
  • Joe Marinelli as Donny Spagnoli
  • Eli Bildner as Joel Rapkin
  • Amber Friendly as Layla Bell
  • Tom Irwin as Fred Micklen, UBA's president
  • Joe Pacheco as Bart Daley
  • Janina Gavankar as Alison Namazi, co-host of the weekend edition of TMS (seasons 1–2)
  • Joe Tippett as Hal Jackson, Bradley's brother
  • Michelle Meredith as Lindsey Sherman (seasons 1–2)
  • Andrea Bendewald as Valérie
  • Marcia Gay Harden as Maggie Brener, a reporter and journalist
  • Augustus Prew as Sean (seasons 1–2)
  • Katherine Ko as Dhillon Reece-Smit (season 1)
  • Ian Gomez as Greg (season 1)
  • Oona Roche as Lizzy Craig, Alex and Jason's daughter (seasons 1–2)
  • Markus Flanagan as Gerald Drummond
  • David Magidoff as Nicky Brooks (season 1)
  • Mindy Kaling as Audra Khatri, a rival morning news anchor
  • Embeth Davidtz as Paige Kessler, Mitch's ex-wife (seasons 1–2)
  • Kate Vernon as Geneva Micklen (season 1)
  • Roman Mitichyan as Sam Rudo (season 1)
  • Mark Harelik as Richard (seasons 1–2)
  • Theo Iyer as Kyle, Cory's assistant (season 2–present)
  • Choni Francis as RJ Smith (season 2–present)
  • Tara Karsian as Gayle Berman (season 2–present)
  • Holland Taylor as Cybil Reynolds, a seasoned board member of UBA (season 2–present)
  • Valeria Golino as Paola Lambruschini, a documentarian who befriends Mitch in Italy (season 2)
  • Jack Conley as Earl (season 2–present)
  • Aflamu Johnson as Aflamu (season 2–present)
  • Hasan Minhaj as Eric Nomani, Bradley's new co-host (season 2)
  • Patrick Bristow as Gordon (season 2)
  • Katie Aselton as Madeleine, Chip's girlfriend (season 2)
  • Tig Notaro as Amanda Robinson (season 3)
  • Stephen Fry as Leonard Cromwell (season 3)
  • Clive Standen as Andre Ford (season 3)
  • Natalie Morales as Kate Danton (season 3)

Guest[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110November 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)December 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
210September 17, 2021 (2021-09-17)November 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
310September 13, 2023 (2023-09-13)November 8, 2023 (2023-11-08)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"In the Dark Night of the Soul It’s Always 3:30 in the Morning"Mimi LederKerry Ehrin and Jay CarsonNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
The Morning Show, a popular news and talk morning television show, is thrown into chaos when co-anchor Mitch Kessler is fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct. His co-anchor Alex Levy is furious at the network for keeping her in the dark and later meets with Mitch, who reveals the network has been planning on replacing her. Elsewhere, young "conservative" reporter Bradley Jackson becomes an internet viral sensation after a video of her angrily fact-checking a coal mine supporter at a protest is posted on social media. Bradley quits her local network following a confrontation with her boss, and, after an argument with her family, is asked to appear on The Morning Show for an interview. Alex is skeptical about Bradley's claim that she was unaware of being filmed and presses her during the interview, but Bradley pushes back and doesn't give in. Network CEO Cory Ellison is impressed and later calls Bradley to ask her to meet with him so they can discuss her future.
22"A Seat at the Table"Mimi LederTeleplay by : Kerry Ehrin
Story by : Kerry Ehrin and Jay Carson
November 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
Cory arranges a meeting for Bradley with the show's executive producer, Chip Black, to see if she might become a field correspondent. His dismissive manner sets Bradley off, leaving her sure she has ruined her chances of getting the job. In the middle of a meeting for contract negotiations, and knowing the network needs her to stabilize the show after Mitch's departure, Alex tries to leverage the situation to get all of her demands, including co-host approval. Cory, meanwhile, continues to use an unwitting Bradley to stir things up by getting her to come to an awards event honoring Alex, and seats the women next to each other. In the lobby, Cory scoffs when Alex demands co-host approval and calls her bluff when she threatens to leave the show. In retaliation, during her speech, Alex goes rogue and takes things into her own hands by announcing Bradley as her new co-host, much to the shock of everyone in attendance.
33"Chaos is the New Cocaine"David FrankelErica LipezNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
The staff of The Morning Show are in turmoil over the announcement. Cory has told the press that Bradley will debut the following Monday, so as the team prepares to work all weekend to prep her, Alex arrives to assert some control over the proceedings. Meanwhile, a frustrated Bradley has not even decided if she will accept the position. Mia Jordan asks Chip to make her Bradley's producer, and announces her new role before he has even offered it to her. Forced to go along with Alex's announcement or lose face, network president Fred Micklen is furious, but Cory reacts differently; he tells Fred to look at Bradley as an opportunity to reinvent the show and eventually be rid of Alex like they wanted. During Bradley's first camera tests, people question her initial wardrobe, and she challenges the copy Mia has provided her. Cory gets to know Bradley as they pick out a new wardrobe for her. Fred then summons Alex to browbeat her in front of a room of network executives, but she boldly informs him that he lost power over the show long ago, and from now on they will be doing things her way.
44"That Woman"Lynn SheltonAdam MilchNovember 8, 2019 (2019-11-08)
Bradley makes her debut on The Morning Show but, chafing at the rosy scripted persona the show has given her, decides to mention her personal struggles growing up, including having an abortion as a teen. This revelation incites controversy and infuriates Fred, but it also galvanizes the younger, pro-choice audience. Alex is convinced to give up the Friday interview with one of Mitch's accusers to Bradley, but when Bradley goes off-script, the accuser reveals more than the producers had planned. Meanwhile, an internal investigation is launched by the company's human resources department into Mitch's conduct, with most of the crew backing Mitch and denying knowledge of his sexual misconduct. Alex begins to experience some professional jealousy as America embraces Bradley and ratings rise.
55"No One's Gonna Harm You, Not While I'm Around"David FrankelTorrey SpeerNovember 15, 2019 (2019-11-15)
The Morning Show braces itself for the upcoming story from The New York Times (NYT) on Mitch's behavior, leading him to crash the studio and beg his former coworkers to speak on the record in his defense. His pleas fall on deaf ears and security escorts him out. When the weekend hits, Alex hosts a charity fundraiser, which seemingly goes well, but she is thrown by talk of Bradley's success and Cory's proposal that they collaborate, leading her to seek solace from Mitch. Bradley tries to bond with her coworkers by going out to celebrate Claire's birthday at a bar, only for the night to get heated as talk eventually turns to Mitch. Bradley receives a call from her estranged father. As the NYT story hits, Mitch is enraged that Fred has ceased defending his actions and vows revenge.
66"The Pendulum Swings"Tucker GatesKristen LaydenNovember 22, 2019 (2019-11-22)
The Morning Show travels to California to cover the wildfires engulfing the state. Alex struggles on and off screen as she is still angry at Bradley for accusing her of covering for Mitch and is devastated by Jason's decision to officially divorce. After melting down on screen she is comforted by Bradley, and the two later reconcile with Alex opening up about the divorce and Bradley talking about her alcoholic father. Fearing for his job, Chip suggests he could be an ally in helping Cory take over from Fred leading Cory to suggest that Chip should come to him when he has real dirt on Fred. Hannah gives Claire professional advice, which helps Claire land a job as Bradley's assistant. Later, Hannah catches Claire sneaking into Yanko's room to celebrate.
77"Open Waters"Roxann DawsonJeff AugustinNovember 29, 2019 (2019-11-29)
Alex and Jason tell their daughter, Lizzy, that they are getting a divorce. Lizzy blames Alex for prioritizing her job over her family. Alex's PR team warns her that news of the divorce could damage her career, causing her to lean on Bradley for support. Yanko and Claire are called to HR and decide to come clean about their relationship, a decision that relieves Yanko but leaves Claire wondering if her job is on the line. After a member of the production team makes an inappropriate remark about Mia which gets him fired, Mia has a meltdown and confirms to the entire studio that she was involved with Mitch. Bradley contemplates an offer from Mitch about interviewing him on air to reveal that the network was involved in covering for him. After he promises he can get a witness to corroborate his story he turns to Hannah, who he believes exchanged sexual favors for a promotion from him.
88"Lonely at the Top"Michelle MacLarenJC LeeDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
Back in 2017, Mitch stresses over turning 50. Now that his affair with Mia has recently ended, Mitch has Chip remove her from his team and place her with Alex, who the network is considering replacing due to tanking ratings. The cast and crew of The Morning Show surprise Mitch with a huge birthday party at the studio, where Claire meets weatherman Yanko for the first time. As the party winds down Hannah begins to see reports of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting breaking on Twitter. Mitch and Alex travel to Vegas to cover the shooting with Mitch asking Chip to bring Hannah (still only a junior booker), along with the team. Alex and Mitch struggle emotionally with the reporting. When Mitch cannot sleep he heads out to a memorial and runs into a distressed Hannah. They return to Mitch's hotel room, where he comforts her and then starts kissing her, then they have sex. Upon return to New York, Mitch barely acknowledges Hannah; Hannah barges into Fred's office; he stops her before she can report the incident and promotes her to head booker to buy her silence. She accepts the offer in shock and disappointment.
99"Play the Queen"Kevin BrayErica Lipez & Ali VingianoDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)
Bradley reveals to Alex that she wants to go forward with interviewing Mitch in order to take down Fred. After Alex takes the news badly both women begin to work behind the scenes to get what they want, with Bradley going to Cory for backing while Alex secretly approaches Fred to work out a plan for getting rid of Bradley. Hannah reveals to Claire that she was the one who reported them to HR, causing them to fall out and Claire to loudly declare her love for Yanko. The strain of public scrutiny, however, proves to be too much for Claire and she breaks up with him. Hannah confronts Mitch about how powerless she felt during their sexual encounter only for him to berate her for her naiveté. Hannah reluctantly agrees to corroborate how Fred enabled her promotion, but wants to remain anonymous. A heartbroken Chip, who learned that Alex was willing to get rid of him as part of a pact with Fred, agrees to help Cory and Bradley in producing the Mitch interview.
1010"The Interview"Mimi LederKerry EhrinDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
After Mitch reveals that Hannah will corroborate his side of the story, Bradley meets with Hannah, who breaks down while recalling Mitch's sexual assault. She asks Bradley to not reveal her identity and to wait until she accepts the job at UBA in Los Angeles before doing the interview with Mitch. Aware that moves are being made behind the scenes to expose his knowledge and cover-up of sexual misconduct, Fred grants Alex co-host approval in order to gain her support in firing Chip. Chip explains the interview plan to his assistant, Rena, and gets her to agree to smuggle Mitch into The Morning Show to do the interview live and on air, letting her know that he has been fired and that they need to act soon. Claire, trying to make amends with Hannah, shows up at her apartment and discovers that Hannah is dead from an overdose. News of her death shocks everyone, resulting in Bradley calling off the interview and a physical fight between Chip and Mitch in the lobby of Mitch’s apartment. While on air, Alex snaps and along with Bradley, exposes Fred and UBA for their knowledge of sexual misconduct and the creation of a toxic culture. The feed is cut off as Bradley encourages more people to speak out.

Season 2 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"My Least Favorite Year"Mimi LederErica Lipez & Adam Milch and Kerry EhrinSeptember 17, 2021 (2021-09-17)
Following the events of Alex and Bradley's on-air exposé, UBA performs damage control and fires Cory. At the same time, Alex quits the show, moves to Maine, and lives a quiet and secluded life while writing a tell-all book on her career. Bradley remains on the show with a new co-host, Eric. However, the show dwindles in ratings and Cory struggles in his faithfulness to Bradley, who wants to relocate to the evening news, feeling that it is a better fit for her. Seeing no choice, Cory travels to Maine and attempts to convince Alex to return to the show, which she refuses. On New Years Eve, Mia chooses not to run a story about the impending pandemic, Bradley learns Eric will be moved to the evening news and fights with Cory over his clear underhandedness, as she helped Cory get his job back. In Maine, Alex receives a reading from a psychic that motivates her to return to UBA and calls Cory, who then offers her a chance to host a prime-time talk show if she fills in for the show. However, before Cory can celebrate the news of Alex's potential return, he looks at a news ticker that reveals Hannah's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against UBA.
122"It's Like The Flu"Mimi LederTorrey Speer & Kristen LaydenSeptember 24, 2021 (2021-09-24)
Cory informs Bradley that Alex is in negotiations to return to the show, leading her to call in sick for three weeks to negotiate what she wants. Before Alex returns to the show, Cory tries to hold a small intimate dinner to welcome her back, but more and more guests are invited. Over dinner, they discuss the novel coronavirus and whether it is newsworthy or not. When an overwhelmed Alex tries to leave early, she is confronted by Bradley, who is still angry that Alex abandoned her when she needed her the most. In hiding in Italy, Mitch is confronted by a woman feigning anger at what he had done, intending to upload to social media, and is humiliated when a mysterious woman steps in to defend him. Mia, upon learning the virus can be transmitted person to person, says they'll run a story on it for "a minute". Cory decides to settle with Hannah's family, but realizes they are after more than money when he learns the dollar amount they asked for in negotiations. Alex asks Chip to return as the producer and he agrees.
133"Laura"Lesli Linka GlatterBrian Chamberlayne & Jeff AugustinOctober 1, 2021 (2021-10-01)
Bradley covers the start of the campaign season, while Alex prepares for her big moment. UBA journalist and news anchor Laura Peterson interviews Alex in advance of a tell-all book by Maggie Brener. Laura and Bradley kiss.
144"Kill the Fatted Calf"Jessica YuAli Vingiano & Scott TroyOctober 8, 2021 (2021-10-08)
Knowing that UBA will be hosting the Democratic Presidential debate, members of The Morning Show jockey for a spot. Daniel asks Mia to push for him, and to play the race card, but Stella shuts her down as she says that Daniel has leveled off in his career. Cory keeps pushing for Alex, who is dead set against moderating. Bradley finally makes up with Cory who informs her she is out of the running since he cannot have two straight white women moderating due to the current cancel culture. When Bradley informs Laura of this, the two fight as Laura cannot understand why Bradley refuses to admit her bisexuality, and Bradley is angered at being labeled. Desperate to get the moderating job, Bradley later tries, and fails, to come out to Stella. A desperate Daniel goes off script and badly serenades Alex. Stella, who did not want Alex for the moderator job, finally changes her mind after seeing how Alex commands ad revenue and shines on television. She finally persuades Alex to take the job. Meanwhile in Italy, Paola learns that she has been exposed to COVID-19 and informs Mitch she has potentially exposed him as well.
155"Ghosts"Tucker GatesErica Lipez & Adam MilchOctober 15, 2021 (2021-10-15)
Trying to put an end to the Shoenfeld lawsuit, Cory calls Fred, asking him to stop planting smear stories about Hannah in the press. Fred refuses and threatens to publicly reveal Cory helped negotiate his exit settlement if he can't make Hannah's family accept the deal. Desperate, Cory visits Hannah Shoenfeld's father, warning him the smear campaign will be awful if he does not accept the settlement, but his plea is ignored. Following his apology that was perceived as insincere, Yanko is asked to travel to Florida to meet with native Americans for a segment, but he refuses. Audra informs Alex that Maggie Brenner has chosen YDA to open her book press tour. In Las Vegas, the UBA team — composed of Laura, Bradley, Alex and Eric — prepares for the upcoming Democratic Primary debates, but Alex is concerned about the release of Maggie Brener's book and suffers from severe back pain. At the hotel, she confronts Maggie who reveals the book will mention her affair with Mitch, much to Alex's anger who leaves Vegas and opts out of the debate where she is replaced by Bradley. Back at UBA, Cory learns of Laura and Bradley's relationship. Initially sceptical, Cory slowly starts believing the rumour as his feelings for Bradley become more and more apparent. His suspicions are confirmed when he calls Bradley and hears Laura's voice in the background. He informs Bradley of the lawsuit situation, and asks her if he should do anything in his power to stop the smear campaign, to which she immediately agrees. Outside UBA, Stella is assaulted by a man spewing racist comments on COVID-19. Yanko steps in and the ensuing brawl is filmed by a passerby. In Italy, Paola and Mitch are quarantining together. Mitch reluctantly agrees to an interview about his past mistakes, in which he shows remorse for the way he treated Hannah after the Vegas incident.
166"A Private Person"Rachel MorrisonTorrey Speer & Stacy Osei-KuffourOctober 22, 2021 (2021-10-22)
As Alex's absence from the show stretches out indefinitely due to her back issues, Cory brings in Laura Peterson as a substitute host. Bradley is thrilled that she and Laura can merge their personal and private lives, but things become complicated when Bradley's addict brother appears for a surprise visit. During the show, Cory leaks the news that Laura and Bradley are dating. Laura tries to reassure Bradley that they can deny the rumors. Bradley becomes more upset when she returns home and is confronted by her brother who is unsupportive of her relationship with Laura, and reveals he has been struggling to overcome his addiction. Meanwhile, Chip realizes that Alex is missing, and no one knows where she is.
177"La Amara Vita"Mimi LederKerry Ehrin & Scott TroyOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)
While quarantining in Italy, Mitch receives a surprise visit from Alex who has flown in to demand he release a statement denying they ever had sex. After obtaining a promise that he will issue a denial, Alex prepares to leave Italy but is forced to stay as Italy is in lockdown due to COVID-19 restriction measures, and she has missed her flight. Alone with Mitch, Alex confides she misses him, but shocking new reports about his sexual harassment puts a damper on their time together. Mitch and Paola spend the night together. While driving home, Mitch commits suicide by driving his automobile off a cliff.
188"Confirmations"Victoria MahoneyBrian Chamberlayne & Ali VingianoNovember 5, 2021 (2021-11-05)
When a meeting at UBA is interrupted by an Italian reporter asking for comment on Mitch Kessler's death, The Morning Show newsroom tries to confirm the story so they can break the news themselves. When Cory envisions Alex breaking the news live on air, Chip realizes he can no longer cover for her. He is forced to confess that he is no longer in contact with Alex. He discovers that her last credit card charge was in Italy, and that there might have been a woman involved in the car crash with Mitch. When Alex finally arrives stateside, Chip is able to break the news of Mitch to her and she obtains a second confirmation of his death when she contacts Paola. Instead of breaking the news to viewers, Alex decides to personally report the news to Paige, Mitch's wife. She is shocked when a resentful Paige reveals she knew about Alex's affair with Mitch. With Alex's blessing, Bradley breaks the news of Mitch's death live nationally on The Morning Show.
199"Testimony"Miguel ArtetaScott Troy & Justin MatthewsNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
With time running out before Maggie Brener's book is published, Alex offers to terminate her contract with The Morning Show but is turned down by Cory who insists the network will protect her. Alex nevertheless braces herself to leave the show. Paige visits The Morning Show and informs the conflicted staff that they are welcome to a memorial in Mitch's honor. Alex crashes the memorial and gives a speech where she reveals she saw Mitch in Italy. Cory asks Bradley to interview Maggie about her book. To everyone's surprise, Bradley harshly criticizes Maggie for castigating Alex over her consensual affair with Mitch. The interview leads to widespread support of Alex. However things change the following morning as leaked footage of Alex at Mitch's memorial goes viral. A distraught Alex trips and bumps her head, landing her in the hospital where it is revealed she has contracted COVID-19.
2010"Fever"Mimi LederKerry EhrinNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
As COVID-19 begins to spread across the U.S., Bradley takes a leave of absence to search for her missing brother. Alex struggles during quarantine as she is symptomatic and is suffering emotionally from the fallout of the leaked footage of her at Mitch's memorial. To aid her, Chip asks Cory to have Alex do a program about her experiences with COVID-19. Cory decides to air the segment on his failing streaming service, UBA+. As the entire city and country shut down, Cory decides to help Bradley in her quest to find her brother, before confessing that he is in love with her. He helps Bradley locate her brother who has managed to stay clean, but is in the hospital surrounded by COVID-19 patients. A feverish Alex manages to complete her segment on her symptoms, but tells the audience that she is done apologizing for who she is.

Season 3 (2023)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"The Kármán Line"Mimi LederCharlotte StoudtSeptember 13, 2023 (2023-09-13)
In two years following the pandemic's tipping point, UBA returns to the studios. Bradley received a coveted spot at evening news while Alex remained as TMS host together with Yanko and their new co-host Christine Hunter and is preparing for a space flight in a rocket belonging to billionaire Paul Marks. She also hosts her variety show podcast Alex Unfiltered on UBA+. At her interview with psychologist Esther Perel, a staggering question brings the feeling of loneliness to Alex. Cory remains as UBA's lead, cutting costs from all its divisions for the sake of keeping UBA+ afloat, seeing backlash from Cybil. Alex keeps demanding unprecedented extra privileges from him, while Bradley struggles to put through a report on abortionist Luna Garcia. As Alex, Cory, Stella and the crew of TMS head to Texas to cover Alex's spaceship launch, they meet Paul Marks in person. During the private conversation with Alex, Paul mentions that he and Cory had been secretly finalizing the deal to integrate UBA into his corporation and the flight was crucial to make it happen. Meanwhile, Luna is detained and Bradley also comes to Texas to make an unauthorised report on her. Alex and Chip also leave to cover her detention without notice hours before the liftoff. A desperate Cory approaches Bradley as she walks from the airport and persuades her to replace Alex in the spaceship. She passes an express training and is launched into space alongside Cory and Paul. As the shuttle approaches the Kármán Line, the connection with Earth disrupts.
222"Ghost in the Machine"Mimi LederMichelle Denise JacksonSeptember 13, 2023 (2023-09-13)
After a brief pause, the connection with the spaceship restores and it lands on Earth safely. Alex and Chip also return after their arbitrary leave and together with Bradley and the rest of the crew fly back to New York. Luna is released from custody and is free of charges, but wants to stay away from UBA. Alex passes the news of the deal between Cory and Paul to Bradley and Cybil so they could hatch a plan to frustrate it together. UBA falls under a massive cyberattack and is taken off air. The hackers request $50 million ransom so the extracted confidential information of the employees would not spill further into the Internet. The board led by Cybil vote not to proceed with the payout, and Bradley warns that compromising information may arise. UBA hires tech analysts to close the breach and investigate into the impact of the hack. They determine that all media on all devices connected to the network, bringing various inside conflicts and private relationships to the light. Meanwhile, Alex accidentally finds out that Chip and Isabella have been dating for a year, which causes an acute depression.
233"White Noise"Thomas CarterJoshua AllenSeptember 20, 2023 (2023-09-20)
UBA faces backlash from their rivals as the hacked private information begins to leak. Cybil's e-mail referring to Christine as Aunt Jemima and salary detraction from non-white staff members spark racist allegation across the board. Christine is severely offended by Cybil's remark and wants to have a sound bite with her on TMS to settle a conflict. The meeting with staff members fails when Yanko points out the hypocrisy of wokeness. Afterwards, Mia and Stella go drinking and drunkenly admit to each other they think Yanko is hot. Cory agrees to Paul's initial offer and tries to push it through at the Board, but Cybil won't let it happen. Eventually, Cybil is put against the wall during her interview with a furious Christine. Her reputation undermined, Cybil is exiled from her position by a no confidence vote and Leonard is appointed Board Chairman. As Cory arrives at a restaurant to ratify his deal with Paul, Paul declines the offer claiming that UBA has become an excessively toxic network, leaving Cory and the collapsing UBA on their own.
244"The Green Light"Mark T. Gates IIIKimi Howl LeeSeptember 27, 2023 (2023-09-27)
The networks have their annual advertising buy parties hosted by comediennes who make jokes about racism and same-sex relationships to the groans of the audiences. Representatives from the lender inform Cory that since Q1 revenue is down 23% year to date and 48% of the revenue comes from advertising, UBA must match the previous year's ad buy or they won't underwrite the loan. Cory tells them to trust him and that Stella will come through as she successfully wines and dines clients in a fancy restaurant to secure a $200,000 per spot ad buy. Alex takes Paul to a Coney Island amusement park and apologizes for bailing on the suborbital flight. Later that night, Cory has an upfront party at his mansion with many of the UBA personalities to help sell the brand to the advertisers in attendance. At the party, Fred informs Cory that every fiscal decision must go through him as he is overseeing the loan as a consultant. Cory informs Stella that he is going to secure the funding from another source. Immediately after their conversation, Alex and Paul arrive at the party in a helicopter that lands on the beach behind Cory's house. Andre travels within Ukraine to cover a hospital bombing and provides photos of the scene to Mia, but asks her not to release them until he confirms he's safe. Mia agrees, but later releases the photos anyway to ensure UBA's exclusive.
255"Love Island"Stacie PassonZander LehmannOctober 4, 2023 (2023-10-04)
Flashback to 2020 and the beginning of the pandemic. Bradley relocates to Montana and learns of her drug addicted mother's death from her brother, Hal. Laura and Bradley report on the summer wildfires, the unconstitutional lockdowns in Pennsylvania, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death from Laura's home there. Their relationship falls apart, and Bradley relocates to Washington DC to cover the election. Cory purchases the mansion seen in the previous episode and meets his neighbor Paul Marks on the beach. Mia reveals her unhealthy obsession over events of the summer to Andre and breaks down into tears. After overreacting to him going out to a few bars one night, Andre takes an assignment in Afghanistan. Cory and Stella work on obtaining programming that will boost the UBA+ streaming service. That winter, Bradley is capturing video of the events inside the Capitol, when she is inadvertently pepper sprayed by one of the officers, only to discover Hal is one of the people struggling with the police. Later that day, Hal informs her that his girlfriend is pregnant, so Bradley deletes the footage to allow Hal to get back to his life. Bradley shows Stella her other videos, which lands her the job on the evening news. When the FBI requests all of the video footage captured by Bradley, Cory asks her to provide it, and she tells him that she had to delete one video because Hal was in it. Cory only provides the FBI with the edited video footage aired on the network to avoid a scandal.
266"The Stanford Student"Mimi LederMicah SchraftOctober 11, 2023 (2023-10-11)
Back to the present, the merger between Hyperion and UBA is back on the table and a Q&A session ends badly when Alex asks Paul to comment on a rumor regarding his company's surveillance software. Hal visits Bradley and introduces her to his wife and daughter. He tells Bradley that he is going to turn himself in and she is unsuccessful at deterring him from doing it. She freezes during a broadcast, remembering the scene with Hal at the Capitol, but composes herself quickly to plug the next segment with a homeschooling parent. Laura senses Bradley's anxiety while having a drink with her so she visits Hal and expresses her desire to be in a relationship with his sister. Hal decides not to turn himself in and leaves a note for Bradley telling her that before returning home with his family. Alex interviews Paul at his house on her show and a question about a business deal in the past between Paul and a former student (Stella) prompts him to tell a story about how his ex-wife left him. Alex spends the night at Paul's house after the interview where they are intimate with each other. Chip proposes to Isabella, but she declines because she thinks he has feelings for Alex. Paul meets with Stella and informs her that when the merger is completed, Cory will be fired and she will be the new CEO.
277"Strict Scrutiny"Jennifer GetzingerBill KennedyOctober 18, 2023 (2023-10-18)
Cory and Bradley travel to Connecticut and convince Cory's mother to stop speaking with the DOJ about the upcoming merger. Alex and Paul spend more time together at Alex's house and confide in each other about being alone. Many of the UBA personalities and Paul attend a red carpet fundraiser, have their picture taken, and give interviews to reporters. Paul confirms that Hyperion 2 will be launching in August to transport 2 people to the International Space Station. Stella informs Mia of Paul's plans to fire Cory and she tells Stella to take the job because "White men don't give them up willingly" and Stella agrees. The same company that outed Bradley have a photo of Alex and Paul together and are threatening to release it. Paul shows Alex the photo and they decide to pay to get rid of the story, but the company is not interested in the money. A disgruntled former employee of Hyperion, Kate, a long time friend of Stella, meets with her at UBA to caution her about the merger. When Stella suggests they go speak to Paul down the hall, Kate gets nervous and declines, prompting Stella to admonish her. Stella tells Cory about Paul's offer and they hatch a plan together, agreeing that Stella will sign the employment contract, earn Paul's trust, and see how things play out. Chip sees Alex and Paul kissing in her office.
288"DNF"Millicent SheltonSelina FillingerOctober 25, 2023 (2023-10-25)
The photo with Alex and Paul kissing is leaked by "The Vault", causing Alex and Chip to have a disagreement about whether to release a statement addressing the leaked photo. Alex informs Cory that her interview with Paul will not be aired that week, to which Cory insists on having the interview aired the following week to improve the optics of the UBA acquisition deal by Paul. Alex’s intended interview guest that week cancelled so Chip replaces the guest with another guest who subsequently confronts Alex on air about her relationship with Paul. Consequently, Alex fires Chip for not doing enough to prevent that disaster from happening. Laura becomes jealous of Cory and starts scanning through Bradley’s emails that were posted online previously by the UBA hackers. She discovers that Hal is the one that assaulted the police officer at the Jan 6 Capitol riots and that Bradley and Cory are conspiring to cover it up. Andre and Mia reconcile. Paul approaches Alex about selling off most of UBA’s assets as soon the purchase is completed and have Alex involved in rebuilding UBA into a different company
299"Update Your Priors"Stacie PassonTeleplay by : Laura Wexler
Story by : Shalisha Francis-Feusner
November 1, 2023 (2023-11-01)
3010"The Overview Effect"Mimi LederTeleplay by : Anya Leta
Story by : Charlotte Stoudt and Anya Leta
November 8, 2023 (2023-11-08)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On November 8, 2017, it was announced that Apple had given the production a series order consisting of two seasons of ten episodes apiece. The series was set to be executive produced by Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jay Carson, and Michael Ellenberg. Carson was expected to act as a writer and showrunner for the series as well. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Media Res, Echo Films, and Hello Sunshine.[3][12][13] On April 4, 2018, it was announced that Carson had departed the production over creative differences. He was replaced as executive producer and showrunner by Kerry Ehrin.[14] On July 11, 2018, it was reported that Mimi Leder would serve as a director and executive producer for the series.[15] On October 23, 2018, it was reported that Kristin Hahn and Lauren Levy Neustadter would serve as additional executive producers for the series.[16]

On June 22, 2020, Aniston revealed in a Variety interview with Lisa Kudrow that the show's development began prior to the Me Too movement, but was ultimately reworked to include and partially focus on it.[17]

The show cost $15 million per episode, with Aniston and Witherspoon each earning $2 million per episode, not including producing fees and ownership points.[18] On January 10, 2022, Apple renewed the series for a third season.[7]

On May 1, 2023, Apple renewed the series for a fourth season.[19]

Casting[edit]

Alongside the initial series announcement, it was confirmed that Aniston and Witherspoon had been cast in the series' lead roles.[3][12][13] In October 2018, it was announced that Steve Carell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup, Néstor Carbonell and Mark Duplass had been cast in series regular roles.[16][9][10] On November 7, 2018, it was reported that Bel Powley, Karen Pittman, and Desean Terry had joined the main cast of the series.[11]

On October 9, 2020, Greta Lee and Ruairi O'Connor officially joined the second season as regular characters.[20] On November 13, 2020, Hasan Minhaj was also announced as a new cast member.[21] On December 3, 2020, Julianna Margulies announced she joined the second season of the series.[22] In August 2022, it was announced that Jon Hamm and Nicole Beharie had joined the main cast for the third season, with Tig Notaro joining in a recurring role.[23][24][25]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the first season commenced on October 31, 2018, at the James Oviatt Building in Los Angeles.[26] Filming continued in Los Angeles until filming started in New York City on May 9, 2019.[27] Production on the first season also concluded that May, after seven months of filming.[28]

Production on the second season began on February 24, 2020.[29] On March 12, 2020, Apple TV+ halted production on the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[30] The second season resumed filming on October 19, 2020.[31] Between February and March 2021, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass, and Hannah Leder were spotted in Los Angeles filming the second season.[32][33] On May 18, 2021, filming for season two concluded.[34]

Production on the third season began on August 16, 2022,[35] and it was announced on February 11, 2023 that the season's filming had wrapped up.[36]

Release[edit]

After the Apple Special Event of March 25, 2019, Witherspoon announced on Instagram that the series would premiere in the fall of 2019.[4] It premiered on Apple TV+ on November 1, 2019.[3][4] In January 2021, Apple announced that the second season would premiere in 2021.[37] The second season premiered on September 17, 2021.[6] It was announced that the third season would premiere on September 13, 2023.[38]

During the Apple Special Event, a teaser trailer was released with footage from the series as well as footage from other original series set to premiere on Apple TV+.[39] Furthermore, Aniston, Witherspoon, and Carell were at the event to promote the series.[40] On August 12, 2019, Apple released a first look trailer for the series.[41] It was also revealed that the series would be titled Morning Wars in Australia, in order to distinguish the series from the Australian morning talk show of the same name.[1]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of The Morning Show
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
162% (107 reviews)[42]61 (37 reviews)[43]
267% (51 reviews)[44]60 (25 reviews)[45]
372% (78 reviews)[46]65 (30 reviews)[47]

On Rotten Tomatoes it received an overall score of 64%,[48] and an overall score of 61 on Metacritic.[49]

For first season of The Morning Show, the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 61% approval rating, based on 106 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Flashy, but somewhat frivolous, The Morning Show often feels more like a vanity project than the hard-hitting drama it aspires to be—but there is pleasure to be had in watching Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon give it their all."[42] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 61 out of 100 based on reviews from 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[43]

The second season of the series received a 67% from Rotten Tomatoes based on 51 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Morning Show's second season has a slew of stupendous performances—but too many characters attempting to address too many hot-button issues makes it hard to know what any of them are actually trying to say."[44] At Metacritic, the website gave the second season a 60 out of 100, based on 25 reviews.[45]

The third season of the series received a 72% from Rotten Tomatoes based on 78 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Leaning into its soapier elements while bolstering an already star-studded cast with some welcome additions, The Morning Show upgrades from a shaky prestige program into an addictive guilty pleasure."[46] At Metacritic, the website gave the third season a 65 out of 100, based on 30 reviews.[47]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave a positive review and wrote: "The Morning Show doesn't have the cinematic gravitas of the Showtime series The Loudest Voice or the Aaron Sorkin poetry of HBO's The Newsroom. It's more along the lines of the solid but underachieving Sports Night TV series from the late 1990s."[50]

Audience viewership[edit]

According to TV analytics provider TVision, The Morning Show has been viewed by panel members 5.03 times as much as the average Apple TV+ original series or shows TVision has measured since Apple TV+ launched in November 2019.[51] The series became the second-most watched Apple TV+ series after Ted Lasso.[51]

In December 2023, Deadline reported after the third season was released, the show became Apple TV+’s most watched series.[52]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Season 1
2020 Black Reel Television Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series Gugu Mbatha-Raw Nominated [53]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Won [54]
Dorian Awards Best Supporting TV Performance – Actor Billy Crudup Nominated [55]
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama The Morning Show Nominated [56]
Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Newport Beach Film Festival Breakout Honoree Bel Powley Won [57]
Artist of Distinction Gugu Mbatha-Raw Won
Online Film & Television Association Best Actress in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston Nominated [58]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Won
Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series Martin Short Nominated
Best New Title Sequence Angus Wall, Hazel Baird, Emanuele Marani, EJ Kang, Peter Murphy and Erik Righetti Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Steve Carell (for "Lonely at the Top") Nominated [59]
[60]
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston (for "In the Dark Night of the Soul It's Always 3:30 in the Morning") Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup (for "Chaos is the New Cocaine") Won
Mark Duplass (for "The Interview") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Mimi Leder (for "The Interview") Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Martin Short (for "Chaos is the New Cocaine") Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Design Angus Wall, Hazel Baird, Emanuele Marani, EJ Kang, Peter Murphy and Erik Righetti Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) John Paino, James F. Truesdale and Amy Wells (for "In the Dark Night of the Soul It's Always 3:30 in the Morning") Nominated
The ReFrame Stamp Top 100 Popular Television (2019–2020) The Morning Show (season 1) Won [61]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Steve Carell Nominated [62]
Billy Crudup Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston Won
Television Critics' Association Awards Outstanding New Program The Morning Show Nominated [63]
2021 Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot and First Season – Drama Victoria Thomas Nominated [64]
AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Best Actress – Television Jennifer Aniston Nominated [65]
Season 2
2022 Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design - One Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series Nelson Coates Nominated [66]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour William B. Kaplan, Elmo Ponsdomenech, Jason "Frenchie" Gaya, Carter Burwell, Brian Smith, and James Howe (for "My Least Favorite Year") Nominated [67]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Nominated [68]
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama The Morning Show Nominated [69]
Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Television Billy Crudup Nominated
Mark Duplass Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Series 1 Hour – Dialogue / ADR Mark Relyea, Julie Altus, Robert Guastini, and Pernell Salinas (for "My Least Favorite Year") Nominated [70]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Series, Drama The Morning Show Nominated [71]
Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Drama Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Series, Drama Billy Crudup Nominated
Best Writing in a Streaming Series, Drama Kerry Ehrin and Scott Troy (for "La Amara Vita") Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Reese Witherspoon (for "Confirmations") Nominated [72]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup (for "My Least Favorite Year") Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Marcia Gay Harden (for "Testimony") Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama The Morning Show Nominated [73]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Nominated [74]
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston, Shari Belafonte, Eli Bildner, Néstor Carbonell, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Amber Friendly, Janina Gavankar, Valeria Golino, Tara Karsian, Hannah Leder, Greta Lee, Julianna Margulies, Joe Marinelli, Michelle Meredith, Ruairi O'Connor, Joe Pacheco, Karen Pittman, Victoria Tate, Desean Terry, and Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Dramatic Series Jeff Augustin, Brian Chamberlayne, Kerry Ehrin, Kristen Layden, Erica Lipez, Justin Matthews, Adam Milch, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Torrey Speer, Scott Troy, Ali Vingiano Nominated [75]
Episodic Drama Kerry Ehrin & Scott Troy (for "La Amara Vita") Nominated
Season 3
2023 American Film Institute Awards Top 10 Television Programs of the Year The Morning Show Won [76]
2024 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series The Morning Show Nominated [77]
Best Actress in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Won
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nicole Beharie Nominated
Karen Pittman Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama The Morning Show Nominated [78]
Best Supporting Actor – Television Billy Crudup Nominated
People's Choice Awards Drama Show of the Year The Morning Show Nominated [79]
Female TV Star of the Year Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
Drama TV Star of the Year Jennifer Aniston Won
Reese Witherspoon Nominated
TV Performance of the Year Jon Hamm Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama The Morning Show Nominated [80]
Satellite Awards Best Genre Series The Morning Show Pending [81]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup Nominated [82]
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Beharie, Shari Belafonte, Nestor Carbonell, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Jon Hamm, Theo Iyer, Hannah Leder, Greta Lee, Julianna Margulies, Tig Notaro, Karen Pittman and Reese Witherspoon Nominated

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