On Monday morning, Apple TV Plus unveiled a full second season trailer for “The Morning Show,” the series that launched the streamer on Nov. 1, 2019. The 10-episode Season 2 of the morning news drama — starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and run by executive producer Kerry Ehrin — will premiere on Sept. 17, with new episodes rolling out each week.
Production on “The Morning Show’s” second season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and the show, which had received a two-season order before Apple’s streaming service launched, resumed filming in October of last year. The Season 1 finale aired on Dec. 20, 2019.
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When we last saw Alex (Aniston) and Bradley (Witherspoon), they were having a mad-as-hell “Network” moment on live television after Alex had reckoned with her complicity in ignoring the sexual misconduct perpetrated by her former co-anchor, Mitch (Steve Carell), who’d been protected (and abetted) for years by the head of the UBA network, Fred (Tom Irwin). Alex and Bradley were cut off mid-rant, going to dead air. The final image of the season was — perhaps oddly — of Mitch, sitting by himself, his face wrecked by a fist-fight he’d had with Chip (Mark Duplass), the fired, fall-guy executive producer of the show-within-the-show, “The Morning Show.”
In the trailer, UBA honcho Cory (Billy Crudup, who won an Emmy for his Season 1 performance in this role), goes to retrieve Alex from the snowy house at which she’s in exile: “You are the only thing that can save us,” he says, laughing at his own dramatic pronouncement. From there, the workplace machinations ratchet up, with Alex’s return threatening Bradley’s ascent. “I feel like they’re bringing in my big sister to clean up my mess,” she says in a fantastic “Friends” reference. (Witherspoon played Jill Greene, the younger sister to Aniston’s Rachel, in two episodes of the iconic comedy.)
As the trailer unfolds, COVID-19 is mentioned (“trying to get ahead of this coronavirus thing”); there’s fallout from the journalistic exposé about “The Morning Show” that was set up in Season 1; and entrenched racism at the show (“there is a pattern of behavior around here that disadvantages the people of color”) will become a serious problem. Bradley and Alex appear to be pitted against each other once more, as they jostle for power. And Cory yells a lot.
<img class="wp-image-1235046302 size-full" src="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/MorningShow.2.BillyCrudup.GretaLee.jpg" alt=". - Credit: Courtesy of Apple" width="1000" height="667" srcset="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/MorningShow.2.BillyCrudup.GretaLee.jpg 1000w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/MorningShow.2.BillyCrudup.GretaLee.jpg?resize=150,100 150w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/MorningShow.2.BillyCrudup.GretaLee.jpg?resize=300,200 300w" sizes="(min-width: 87.5rem) 1000px, (min-width: 78.75rem) 681px, (min-width: 48rem) 450px, (max-width: 48rem) 250px" />Courtesy of Apple
It also introduces the season’s new characters, Greta Lee, who plays, according to Apple, “Stella Bak, a tech world wunderkind who has joined the UBA executive team,” and Julianna Margulies as Laura Peterson, a UBA news anchor. Other new cast members include Ruairi O’Connor (“Ty Fitzgerald, a smart and charismatic YouTube star”) Hasan Minhaj (Eric Nomani, “a new member of ‘The Morning Show’ team”), Holland Taylor (“Cybil Richards, the savvy chairwoman of the UBA board”), Tara Karsian (“Gayle Berman, a news producer”) and Valeria Golino (“Paola Lambruschini, a documentary filmmaker”).
Carell, Crudup, Duplass, Irwin, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar and Marcia Gay Harden all return for Season 2.
Season 1 of “The Morning Show” received eight Emmy nominations, with Aniston, Carell and Duplass all recognized for their performances, in addition to Crudup’s win. In January 2020, Aniston won a Screen Actors Guild Award for female actor in a drama.
“The Morning Show” was developed by Ehrin, and is executive produced by Michael Ellenberg through the studio Media Res. Aniston and Kristin Hahn are also executive producers through Echo Films, as are Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter through Hello Sunshine. Executive producer Mimi Leder directs several Season 2 episodes.
David Viramontes contributed the “Friends” reference to this report, which is really the only part of it that matters.
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