And we’re back with The Morning Show. After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Emmy-winning series set behind the scenes at a scandal-plagued national morning show returns with enough drama to fill hundreds of those news tickers that scroll across your TV.
The action picks up right after cohosts Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston, whom TV Guide Magazine senior critic Matt Roush called “a marvel of steely yet vulnerable glamor” in his Season 1 review) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) exposed — on-air — their network’s hostile culture, including the bombshell that higher-ups at the network knew that sleazy ex-anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior.
The shocking revelation causes several of the players “to go through some sort of epiphany,” says exec producer and director Mimi Leder. The team will also grapple with the coronavirus, racism, and cancel culture in a story that begins in late 2019 and then time-jumps twice: forward eight months, then back 90 days.
In that span, Alex leaves the show but returns. “She’s traumatized,” Leder explains, adding that questions about how much she knew about Mitch could tarnish her reputation. Meanwhile, Bradley, still relatively new in the job, must navigate the workplace with anchor Laura Peterson (welcome addition Julianna Margulies), whom the network brings in when Alex is off. “She’s a Diane Sawyer type who shakes things up,” Leder says.
In the executive suite, slimy Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) is now CEO but fears he won’t succeed. He spars with new tech wunderkind Stella Bak (Greta Lee), and board chair Cybil Richards (the regal Holland Taylor) could prove problematic too. Leder calls the savvy corporate veteran “a cockroach you can’t kill.” Would you expect anything else in the cutthroat world of television news?
The Morning Show, Season 2 Premiere, Friday, September 17, Apple TV+
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2021 Returning Favorites issue. For more inside scoop on the new fall TV season, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.