Major spoilers for season 1 of The Morning Show below.
After a splashy season 1 debut on AppleTV+, The Morning Show is coming back for a second installment. The series garnered awards attention for stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, with Aniston winning a Screen Actors Guild award; the show also received eight Emmy nominations in July 2020. However, The Morning Show went on an indefinite hiatus during production due to COVID-19 concerns.
"God, I can’t wait to get back to work. Just talking about it, it gets me," Aniston told Deadline about the production hiatus. "And season 2, it’s getting so good." Now, the wait is almost over, with the new season set to premiere on Sept. 17.
Below, everything we know about The Morning Show season 2, including which new actors are joining the cast.
When will season 2 of The Morning Show be released?
The first episode of the new season arrives on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, and new episodes will arrive weekly on Fridays. The Morning Show is exclusively streaming on Apple TV+, so make sure you have a subscription if you want to watch.
A week after the show debuted in November 2019, Apple confirmed that The Morning Show would return for a second season. Showrunner Kerry Ehrin told Variety, "We’re writing the show now; we’ll film it this summer; and we’ll be on next November." However, the outlet clarified that sources close to the show told them no official premiere date for the second season was set at the time.
The show's release was impacted by a filming hiatus due to concerns over COVID-19. "In concert with our dedicated partners at Apple, we have concluded it would be prudent to take a two-week hiatus to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the incredible people who make this show," producer Michael Ellenberg said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in mid-March 2020. The show was scheduled to restart filming in mid-October, according to recent reports, pending negative COVID tests from those involved.
Is there a trailer yet?
Yes. The official teaser, released earlier in June 2021, hints at the drama to come, such as the tensions behind bringing back Alex (Jennifer Aniston) to the fictional Morning Show and the introduction of Julianna Margulies's character.
The official trailer, released in August 2021, teases more of the big changes and challenges underway at the network. Some, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and racism in the workplace, distinctly reflect our current climate. In one scene, Daniel (Desean Terry) tells Mia (Karen Pittman), “There is a pattern of behavior around here that disadvantages the people of color.”
What will the second season be about?
In the aftermath of an explosive first season finale, Ehrin told The Hollywood Reporter that the news network will be picking up the pieces of its systemic sexual harassment issue. “It's like a huge building fell on everybody and it's about escaping from the wreckage,” she told the outlet.
At the end of the show's first season, co-hosts Alex Levy (Aniston) and Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon) expose network boss Fred Mickland (Tom Irwin) and implicate Alex's ex Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) for their roles in creating a toxic work environment. An on-air speech is given spontaneously and against the clock, moments after the pair learns that producer Hannah Schoenfeld (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), whom Mitch sexually assaulted, died of a drug overdose. Part of the final reckoning involves Alex owning up to her own complicity in Kessler's behavior.
When the feed on the broadcast is suddenly cut, uncertainty about the network, morning show, and its co-anchors looms. “I would say season 2 is a lot about transition,” Ehrin told The Hollywood Reporter. “And still, at the same time, a lot of the same shit goes on! You set new rules, but then it falls back. This is true in the real world. Where it becomes: Are we paying lip service to women’s rights?”
In an interview with Variety, Ehrin discussed one direction the show won't go in: current politics. "I don’t write to the news. It’s not that kind of a show," she told the outlet when asked if a Trump-inspired character would ever join the show. “You can’t do current politics, so my idea is that if you deal with politics, you deal with political themes. I call it ‘current adjacent,’ where you’re not historically aging yourself by dealing with a specific thing, but you can take the zeitgeist of what is happening in the world and do something with those themes.”
How will the show address current issues?
Mark Duplass, who received one of show's eight Emmy nominations, told Deadline in July 2020 that the second season was being rewritten. “We shot two episodes before we shut down due to the pandemic,” he revealed, adding, “but I know that they’re also rewriting, which is crazy because that’s what happened in the first season. They had a whole set of scripts [then] and they rewrote everything to include the #MeToo movement, and now we’ve got other, larger, global phenomenon to deal with. I don’t know what they’re doing but I know they’re rewriting.”
Aniston confirmed the the rewrites to Deadline, adding “a good six or maybe seven outlines” of the show were completed prior to the shutdown. “And then there was just this feeling, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, and the producers couldn’t put their finger on it, but it was like something’s missing and I don’t know what it is,” Aniston recalled. “And then the COVID crisis happened.”
The series star, who received her first Emmy nomination since Friends in 2004, says the scripts will reflect the world's current transformation. “Now, again, Kerry is back to the drawing board, and we are incorporating COVID in a way that is so exciting. I mean, I’m not calling COVID exciting by any stretch of the imagination, but in terms of where season 1 ended, because the covers were being pulled on the network,” she explained. Aniston added that months of quarantine led to “a lot of contemplation, and a lot of excavation, and a lot of inward work,” all themes that will be explored in season 2.
Will the original cast return?
Currently, Aniston, Witherspoon, and Crudup, who played news boss Cory Ellison, are all set to return. Ehrin told THR in December 2019 that the dynamic between the two leading women provide even more fodder for the sophomore season:
The interesting thing about Alex and Bradley is that they still barely know each other. They’ve known each other for like, three months of working together. If you work with someone for three months, you don’t know them super well. They’ve gone through two really traumatic experiences together, which has sort of forged their souls in a way. But they still don’t really know each other as people, so we’re playing some of that in the next season.
The fate of Steve Carell’s character, who gives a powerful direct look to camera at the end of the season, was less clear. Ehrin previously explained to THR, “We would like him to be back in season 2. It’s in the works, but it’s not a done deal yet.” TVLine confirmed in early October that Carell did sign on for another season of playing Mitch Kessler. And sure enough, the season 2 trailer shows new footage with Carell.
Crudup, who won an Emmy for his performance, told Deadline that Carell's character faced a decades-long process of redemption. “I feel like, if you put as many years of work into doing something acceptable that you’ve put into doing something that’s unacceptable, then I’ll talk to you,” Crudup explained to the outlet. “And if you want to begin to build your life back from there, fair enough. But if you put in as much work as Mitch did at undermining people and oppressing people and traumatizing people because you just didn’t have the time to give a damn, you’ve got a shit ton of work to do.”
Other returning cast members include Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Bel Powley, Karen Pittman and Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin, and Marcia Gay Harden.
Are there any new cast members?
Emmy winner Julianna Margulies is the latest A-lister to join The Morning Show's second season. Variety reported that the actress, who previously starred in The Good Wife and ER, will play UBA News anchor Laura Peterson.
Margulies joins a trio of new actors who have already joined the cast, per Deadline. In November, Hasan Minhaj, who previously hosted the Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, was cast as Eric, a major recurring character who is branded "a charismatic, rising star" in the morning show space.
Deadline previously reported that Greta Lee (Russian Doll, Girls) and Ruairi O’Connor (The Spanish Princess, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) would also join the show. Lee will play Stella Bak, “an ambitious leader of an online media company that caters to a millennial and Gen Z audience.”
O'Connor has been cast as Ty Fitzgerald, “a charismatic and savvy YouTube star,” according to Deadline.
Other new cast members include Holland Taylor (Legally Blonde, The Chair) as Cybil Richards, the chairwoman of the UBA board; Tara Karsian (American Horror Story) as news producer Gayle Berman; and Valeria Golino (Rain Man) as Paola Lambruschini, a documentary filmmaker, according to Apple.
Wait, how do you watch The Morning Show?
If the process of accessing AppleTV+ still baffles you, there are options for finding its content. The Apple TV app is $4.99 per month and includes a free seven-day trial. The app is available on several platforms, including:
- Apple TV
- iPod touch
- Select Samsung smart TVs
- Select Roku devices
- Online at tv.apple.com