The series centres on a high-profile morning news anchor Alex (Aniston) who finds herself without a co-host, when her on-air partner of 15 years Mitch (played by Steve Carrell) is accused of multiple accounts of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, Bradley (Witherspoon), a small-town field reporter with a knack for causing a stir, catches the eyes of the network executives who feel she could be just the thing to save their flagging ratings.
Even though the show was in development prior to the #MeToo movement taking hold, it was later reworked to include it, and even seems to echo the story of long-running NBC anchor Matt Lauer who was fired from the network after having multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.
Morning Wars also looks at the way that men in power can be predatory, but they are often enabled by the people around them who look the other way.
According to a press release from Apple TV+, season two will pick up after the explosive events of season one and find the Morning Show team “emerging from the wreckage of Alex and Bradley’s actions to a new UBA and a world in flux, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.”
In a new full-length trailer released by the streaming platform, it seems that Alex has taken refuge at her property outside of New York, presumably to reckon with her complicity in Mitch’s sexual misconduct, when UBA executive Cory (Billy Crudup) arrives and pleads with her to return to her anchor post.
“You are the only thing that can save us,” he says — an uncharacteristic statement for a character who has previously tried to see personally to Alex’s demise.
COVID-19 also gets a mention and we also get a taste of the tension that’s to come as two of the characters discuss the fact that “there is a pattern of behaviour around here that disadvantages the people of colour”.
Along with Aniston and Witherspoon, the star-studded returning cast includes Steve Carell, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin and Marcia Gay Harden.
Joining the cast for season two are Greta Lee as ‘Stella Bak,’ a tech world wunderkind who has joined the UBA executive team; Ruairi O’Connor as ‘Ty Fitzgerald,’ a smart and charismatic YouTube star; Hasan Minhaj as ‘Eric Nomani,’ a new member of the Morning Show team; Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor as ‘Cybil Richards,’ the savvy chairwoman of the UBA board; Tara Karsian as ‘Gayle Berman,’ a news producer; Valeria Golino as ‘Paola Lambruschini,’ a documentary filmmaker; and, Emmy and SAG Award-winner Julianna Margulies as ‘Laura Peterson,’ a UBA news anchor.
Season one of Morning Wars earned eight Emmy nominations, with Aniston, Carell and Duplass all recognised for their performances. Crudup ended up taking home the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Aniston won a Screen Actors Guild Award for female actor in a drama.
Season two of Morning Wars debuts on Apple TV+ on September 17. You can catch up on the first season on the streamer now.
Watch the new trailer below: