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Apple Really Wants Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell's Show to Be Prestige TV

'The Morning Show' looks like Apple's attempt to prove it can make serious dramas, too.

by River Donaghey
13 August 2019, 8:07am

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

We're only a few short months away from the beginning of the all-out streaming wars, when HBO Max and Quibi and Disney+/Apple TV+/all the other pluses do battle with Netflix for our monthly subscription budgets. This week, Apple TV+ finally gave us a peek at one of the original series heading to the platform when it launches—and, uh, the company really wants us to know that it can make prestige TV too, apparently.

On Monday morning, Apple TV+ dropped the first trailer for The Morning Show, a scripted series about the staff of a (you guessed it) morning show, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell. The teaser doesn't tell us much about the plot of the show, but the message of the thing is clear: This is a real, serious TV show that we should take seriously!

The minute-long clip doesn't give us anything in the way of actual footage from the show. The whole thing is made up of slow-moving shots passing through the darkened halls of a TV studio and Carrell and Aniston's characters' dressing rooms. It's not much to look at, but the visuals are less important than the sound. The whole thing is soundtracked by an audio collage of voices, all saying very dramatic and important things about the state of the media and the world in 2019 or whatever, beginning with Aniston saying, "good morning, I am bringing you some sad and upsetting news."

From there, we get snippets of dialogue about journalistic integrity, "honest conversation," and how easy it is for people to read horrible news on their cell phones. "They want to trust that the people who is telling them the truth about the world is an honest person," Witherspoon says in voiceover, as the camera pans across a wall of TV monitors in the control room. Are you convinced that this is an important show that will address the important things happening in our current political climate? Great! That's the goal!

The Morning Show is loosely based on the book Top of the Morning by CNN's Brian Stelter and will be directed by Mimi Leder, who is also on board to executive produce. Apple TV+ has a huge slate of other upcoming prestige projects in various stages of development, helmed by everyone from J.J. Abrams to Oprah to Stephen Spielberg and more. The streaming service is set to launch this fall, presumably with The Morning Show itself.