Global streaming service Apple TV Plus is gearing up for The Morning Show season two. The original drama will be back next month, with several new and returning actors.
The Morning Show was one of Apple’s flagship series, announced as part of the Apple TV Plus launch and with huge names attached. With Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, and Billy Crudup getting top billing, it was the fledgling streamer’s big-ticket prestige drama right out the gate.
With a new season just around the corner, here’s everything we know about The Morning Show season two, heading to Apple TV Plus in September. Read on for production details, cast and crew updates, air dates, and more.
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Where we left off
Inspired by Brian Stelter’s Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, the first season of The Morning Show premiered in the thick of the #MeToo movement in 2019. As a result, the series tackled workplace sexual misconduct head on.
When popular morning television host Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) faces accusations of sexual misconduct, his co-host Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) scrambles to keep afloat. How deep do Mitch’s misdeeds go? How can she re-establish trust in a toxic workplace? Is her own position safe? Who will co-host with her now that Mitch is suspended?
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These questions lead to major changes at the studio, with new blood brought in in the form of fast-talking local news reporter Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) and newly transferred exec Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup).
The first season received mixed reviews but was a ratings hit, leading to a second season renewal.
What is The Morning Show season 2 about?
In season two, Alex has left UBA, the network behind The Morning Show. And Cory wants her back. “You are the only thing that can save us,” he tells her in the season trailer.
Meanwhile, Bradley is worried about being “edged out.” She appears to be exploring other options, all while the network struggles to keep ratings up amid the ongoing fallout of Mitch’s ouster.
Season two covers sexual misconduct as well as race in media and COVID-19.
While season one certainly addressed race, The Morning Show season two appears to focus as much on the question of white hosts as the first season did on gender inequality and abuse in the workplace. The Morning Show’s Daniel Hendersen (Desean Terry) is seen in the trailer calling out UBA for its systemic racism as he continues to be passed up for a promotion.
And in keeping with the show’s focus on current events, season two will also address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, though it’s unclear exactly how.
When and where can you watch it?
The Morning Show season 2 will launch September 17.
The series will be available exclusively on Apple TV Plus.
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New episodes will drop weekly, on Fridays. The season is made up of 10 episodes, as with season one, with the season finale set for November 19.
Apple has not yet revealed whether it has plans for a third season of The Morning Show.
Returning cast members include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Bel Powley, Karen Pittman, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, and Marcia Gay Harden.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, one of season one’s standouts, is not returning. This is in keeping with her character’s exit from the show in season one.
New additions to the cast include Greta Lee, Julianna Margulies, Hasan Minhaj, and Will Arnett.
Mimi Leder, who directed numerous episodes in season one, is directing the first episode of The Morning Show season two.
The show was created by Jay Carson and developed by Kerry Ehrin. It was written by Carson and Ehrin, along with Jeff Augustin, Ali Vingiano, Erica Lipez, Adam Milch, Kristen Layden, J.C. Lee, and Torrey Speer.
Executive producers are Kerry Ehrin, Mimi Leder, Michael Ellenberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Kristin Hahn, and Lauren Neustadter.
Did COVID-19 affect production?
In March 2020, after just 13 days of filming, Apple hit pause on The Morning Show season two over safety concerns. With various lockdowns and other restrictions due to COVID-19, production on numerous shows and films had to halt.
Filming resumed the following October, months behind schedule. While two episodes were already shot, the producers opted to include COVID-19 into the season’s storyline, so elements of those two episodes were rewritten.
As series actor Mark Duplass told Deadline, the first season was also subject to major rewrites to account for the then-developing #MeToo movement, which became a central concern of the show.
COVID-19 delays are at the center of a lawsuit with The Morning Show’s insurance company.
Filming delays on The Morning Show season two have in fact become the subject of a lawsuit. Always Smiling Productions has filed suit against Chubb National Insurance Company. The suit claims that while Chubb has paid out $1 million due to the government-mandated shutdown, the company still owes over $100 million in cast coverage — the series’ big names come with hefty paycheques.
Other Apple TV Plus series affected by the production shutdown include See, Foundation, Servant, For All Mankind, Lisey’s Story, and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.
What else can you expect?
Apple hasn’t revealed much about The Morning Show season two. The official season trailer does, however, reveal a fair bit. And it also leaves a lot of questions open.
Here are a few hints and open questions from the trailer:
- Where is Mitch? He seems to be hiding out somewhere gorgeous and scenic. Is he stranded somewhere because of COVID-19? Is he hiding out to avoid media inquiries following his fall from grace?
- Why has Alex left UBA? When we last saw her, Alex was standing up to the culture of abuse that allowed Mitch to thrive in the first place. She and Bradley took a stand on air before being cut off. Did she quit? If she was fired, why wasn’t Bradley? Getting more information about Alex’s departure will help add some much-needed context to Cory’s attempts to win her back.
- Who is Julianna Margulies playing? The ER and The Good Wife actress appears to be an exec from a rival show. She’s encouraging Bradley to stand up for herself and demand more. But what are her motives exactly, and why doesn’t Alex like her?
- What is Cory up to? The UBA exec seems to have a gift for picking fights with the top brass, and now he’s fighting “a battle for the soul of the universe.” What could that be about?
That’s everything we know, and a few things we don’t, about The Morning Show season two. You can check it out on Apple TV Plus September 17.