'The Morning Show' Isn't a Retread of 'Today's Matt Lauer Scandal

Kate Hahn
Preview Apple

A disgraced news anchor. His distraught, betrayed colleague. A network in crisis. The Morning Show, the highly anticipated workplace dramedy from new streaming service Apple TV+, does borrow a bit from the Matt Lauer/Today scandal to get things started.

National a.m. news anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) is fired over allegations of sexual misconduct, and it's up to his coanchor of 15 years, Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston, above, with Carell, in her first lead TV role since Friends ended in 2004), to deliver the news to the public and carry on. 

But this series is no retread of the Today drama. For various reasons we won't spoil, scrappy West Virginia reporter Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) lands in Kessler's anchor chair beside the polished veteran. Cue the culture clash!

"Alex is a consummate professional who has worked hard, achieved respect," explains executive producer Kerry Ehrin, who says Bradley has been known to get fired for her temper "and her inability to not call out BS."

However, The Morning Show, inspired in part by CNN host Brian Stelter's 2013 book Top of the Morning, avoids catfight clichés.

"Their story is about being women in this business," Ehrin says. Alex, for one, must figure out how to navigate her career without her wingman, Mitch. "They rose to the top as a team," says Ehrin, "and she doesn't know who she is without him."

(Apple)

The Morning Show, Friday, November 1, Apple TV+