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Billy Crudup, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Join Aniston-Witherspoon Morning News Series at Apple

Actors Billy Crudup and Gugu Mbatha-Raw have joined the cast of the forthcoming untitled Apple original series led by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Mbatha-Raw will play Hannah Shoenfeld, a “whip-smart and charming” head booker of talent on the morning news show the series follows. Tony Award-winner Crudup will portray Cory Ellison, a forward-thinking president of the network news division. As previously announced, Steve Carell will play Mitch Kessler, a morning show anchor who is struggling to maintain relevance in a changing media landscape.

The core creative team on the series includes director-producer Mimi Leder and showrunner, EP, and writer Kerry Ehrin.

Aniston serves as executive producer through her Echo Films banner with Kristin Hahn, along with Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter through their company Hello Sunshine. Michael Ellenberg is overseeing for Media Res, with CNN anchor Brian Stelter acting as technical consultant (his book, “Top of the Morning,” will be used for background, including color on the rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America”).

The package was highly sought after by a number of players until it landed a two-season order last year from Tim Cook’s emerging content player. Media Res, Aniston, and Witherspoon are the principal owners of the show.

Crudup will next be seen in Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” alongside Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Laurence Fishburne. He is also expected to return as Henry Allen, father of Ezra Miller’s the Flash, in a forthcoming standalone film at Warner Bros. Crudup is repped by CAA and Lighthouse Management & Media.

Mbatha-Raw’s credits include “Black Mirror” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” She’ll next be seen alongside Angelina Jolie in “Come Away,” as well as Ed Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn.” She is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.

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