Apple Morning-Show Drama Adds Nestor Carbonell, Mark Duplass
The cast of Apple’s drama about a TV morning show, already dotted with big names, has added two more recognizable stars.
Nestor Carbonell (Lost, Bates Motel) and Mark Duplass (Togetherness, The Mindy Project) have joined the series.
The show, which has a two-season, 20-episode order, was one of Apple’s first big gets as it mounts a push into TV. The untitled series is toplined by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who will star and executive produce.
Carbonell will play Yanko Flores, the morning show’s weatherman. Charming and with an artist’s soul, he thinks of meteorology as poetry. Carbonell will reunite with showrunner Kerry Ehrin on the series after working with her on Bates Motel.
Duplass will play the show’s executive producer, Chip Black.
The cast also includes Steve Carell as a news anchor struggling to maintain relevance; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the show’s head talent booker; and Billy Crudup as the head of the news division at the network.
In addition to Witherspoon, Aniston and Ehrin, executive producers are Kristin Hahn, Lauren Levy Neustadter, Michael Ellenberg and Mimi Leder, who’s also directing. Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning serves as background for the series, and he is a consultant on the show.
Production on the show is set to begin next week.
The morning-show series is one of more than 15 scripted projects Apple has in development. The tech giant has yet to say how or when it will start bringing shows to viewers.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup Join Apple Morning-Show Drama
Apple continues to add to its star-studded morning-show drama.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror) and Billy Crudup (Gypsy, Almost Famous) have joined the cast of the untitled series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
Picked up with a two-season, 20-episode order, the project will offer an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning. Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV serves as background for the series, which is based on an original concept by Michael Ellenberg.
Mbatha-Raw will take on the series-regular role as Hannah Shoenfeld, the whip-smart and charming head booker of talent. Tony-winner Crudup will play Cory Ellison, the forward-thinking president of the news division at the network. Carell, for whom the role marks his TV return following The Office, will play Mitch Kessler, a morning-show anchor struggling to maintain relevance in a changing media landscape.
Production is set to begin next week in Los Angeles.
Aniston — for whom the Apple series marks her TV return following Friends — and her Echo Films partner, Kristin Hahn, are exec producing alongside Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine topper, Lauren Levy Neustadter. Ellenberg’s Media Res serves as the studio on the series. Mimi Leder (ER) will exec produce and direct. Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel, Friday Night Lights) exec produces and serves as showrunner on the series. Stelter serves as a consultant. Echo’s Amanda Anka is a co-producer.
Mbatha-Raw, who counts Touch, Undercovers and A Wrinkle in Time among her credits, is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson. Crudup, fresh off Netflix’s one-and-done drama Gypsy, is with CAA and Lighthouse Management + Media.
Still to be determined is how — and when — Apple will release its scripted original programming.
October 23, 2018 • Category: "The Morning Show", News & Gossip •
Comments Off on Steve Carell Joins Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston in Apple Morning Show Drama
Steve Carell Joins Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston in Apple Morning Show Drama
Steve Carell is set to join Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston the cast of Apple’s upcoming morning-show drama. The role will be Carell’s first as a series regular since he left “The Office,” the NBC single-camera comedy that elevated him to stardom.
In the still;-untitled Apple series, Carell will play play Mitch Kessler, a morning show anchor who is struggling to maintain relevance in a changing media landscape.
Announced last year, the project was the first drama series to be ordered by Apple as the tech giant began to execute on its designs to into the television-series space. The drama hails from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res studio. It is exec produced by Ellenberg; Aniston and Kristin Hahn through Echo Films; and Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter through Hello Sunshine. The starry project was highly sought after by a number of outlets and landed a two-season order (10 episodes per season) from Apple. Media Res, Aniston and Witherspoon are the principle owners of the show.
The series is based on an idea from Ellenberg and will draw background material from CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter’s 2013 book “Top of the Morning,” which recounted the recent rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In April, Jay Carson departed the project as showrunner, replaced by Kerry Ehrin.
Here’s Reese on Aussie news show Sunrise earlier this month, promoting ‘Whiskey In A Teacup’. She also mentions Big Little Lies, cooking for her BLL co-stars, her Australian friends Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts & Isla Fisher, and Ava’s ‘win’ on the night Reese won her Oscar!
Reese Witherspoon Producing Comedy ‘Americanized’ About Undocumented Iranian Family From Sara Saedi At ABC
ABC has put in development Americanized, a half-hour comedy inspired by Sara Saedi’s memoir Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card, from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and ABC Studios, where Hello Sunshine has a broadcast overall deal.
Written by Saedi (iZombie), Americanized tells the story of a loving and off-beat Iranian family who’s been living with a huge secret: they’re undocumented immigrants. Told through an irreverent, heartfelt and a-political lens, the series will give viewers a window into the life of a Middle-Eastern household while exploring the universal truths that bond every type of “American” family.
In the book, Saedi shares her story of growing up in San Jose, California in a loving Iranian family and her shock when she discovers she and the rest of her family are undocumented.
Saidi executive produces with Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter. ABC Studios is the studio.
The deal comes nine years after ABC took a stab at an Iranian family comedy with Funny In Farsi, based on Firoozeh Dumas’s “Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America.” The project went to a pilot directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, marking the first pilot order for producer Aaron Kaplan, but did not make the cut to series.
In the past few years, ABC has been looking to expand its family comedy brand to better represent different sections of American society. The network successfully launched an African-American family comedy with Black-ish, an Asian American family comedy with Fresh Off the Boat and also tried to find another hit Latinx family comedy with Cristela. In addition to Americanized, ABC also is developing multi-generational Latinx family comedy Food and Familia from Peter Murrieta and Overbrook Entertainment starring Danny Trejo whose life inspired it.
In addition to the CW’s iZombie, Saedi previously wrote for Fox’s The Goodwin Games. She is now on the upcoming ABC/ABC Studios drama Grand Hotel. Saedi is repped by Gersh and Nacelle Company.
Hello Sunshine’s series portfolio includes a limited series at Hulu from Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller Little Fires Everywhere; a comedy series for Apple created by Colleen McGuinness and inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s short-story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It; Apple series Are You Sleeping, executive produced by and starring Octavia Spencer; a limited series adaptation of the novel Daisy Jones & The Six for Amazon; and an Untitled Morning Show series at Apple produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon. The company is repped by CAA and Gretchen Rush.
September 19, 2018 • Category: Films & Projects, The Family •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon’s life mirrors ‘Sweet Home Alabama’
Reese Witherspoon’s life mirrors ‘Sweet Home Alabama’
Reese Witherspoon’s life imitated her 2002 movie “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“When I read the script I was like, ‘Do these people know my life story?’” Witherspoon said at The Town Hall in New York on Monday night while promoting her new book, “Whiskey in a Teacup,” with Woodford Reserve.
“Because no matter how much you love where you’re from, when you get a little bit older you get nostalgic for it. When I was 18, I was like, ‘I am out of here! I am never coming back!’”
“Sweet Home Alabama” starred Witherspoon as a New York fashion designer who returned home to Alabama to get her estranged husband (Josh Lucas) to sign divorce papers so she could marry the mayor’s son, played by Patrick Dempsey.
“When I was going through ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ I was like, ‘This is exactly how so many young people feel. You want to leave home and then you realize that there’s so many important things about the closeness of family or people who knew you before.’ And I feel really like that movie really encapsulated those ideas. And it was a lot of fun. It was so much fun. I had a great time doing it.”
Witherspoon, 42, added that she never thought she would move back to Nashville after leaving to pursue her acting dreams, but when she started having kids she had a change of heart. She later bought and lived on a working farm.
“I went real ‘Little House on the Prairie’ there for a moment because I was so nostalgic for home,” she said with a laugh.
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