Apple TV Plus just gave official renewals to four of the shows that launched with the new streaming service last week, but the second season of “The Morning Show” has already been well underway for quite some time: The Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon-starrer was a two-season order right out of the gate. Now, it looks like Season 2 could premiere sometime around the 2020 election — but does that mean real-life politics will impact the new season?
“We have the shape of it. We’ve broken the first three episodes,” Ehrin told Variety about the second season on the red carpet at the New York City premiere, earlier this fall. “We’re writing the show now; we’ll film it this summer; and we’ll be on next November.” (Sources close to the show, however, tell Variety that no premiere date for Season 2 has been set at this time.)
Since “The Morning Show” features a titular morning news show within-the-show, if the second season does in fact launch during the same month as the next presidential election, it would seem like a ripe time for political storylines. However, Ehrin noted that it’s actually impossible to bring current political events into the show, given the timeline of writing, shooting, editing the season before it gets to streaming.
“You can’t do current politics,” she explained, “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.”
Don’t count on any Trump-like character showing up on screen, though. Asked specifically if President Trump will have an tangential influence on the show, Ehrin responded, “Only in the sense that the president has an influence on all of us. Writers are absorbers of reality and interpreters, so in that sense. But it’s not like he’s a part of the storytelling at all.”
The first season of “The Morning Show” is heavily influenced by the #MeToo movement that has swept the entertainment and news businesses over the past two years. In real life, powerhouse figures such as Charlie Rose and Les Moonves from CBS and Matt Lauer from NBC were ousted after allegations of sexual misconduct, but although Steve Carell’s character Mitch is a beloved morning news anchor fired amidst similar allegations — who even has a privacy button under his desk in the show — the team behind the show says its story is not directly ripped from the headlines.
“I don’t write to the news. It’s not that kind of a show,” Ehrin reiterated on the red carpet.
In fact, Ehrin said she never went back to tweak the scripts when new stories unfolded off-screen in the news in the first season. And she has no plans to do that in the second, as the writers are already hard at work on the second season and have their storylines intact.
When Ehrin was brought the premise of the show, all she knew was that Aniston and Witherspoon were attached, and that the series would be influenced by journalist Brian Stelter’s 2013 book “Top Of The Morning,” which explores the behind-the-scenes dynamics of morning news shows.
“News is a little bit of a double edged sword right now,” Ehrin said. “I think that it can mean bad things to people and good things to people, and I hope that this will be a new vision of the real humanity of it, as opposed to the politics of it, so I’m hoping it will educate, but also uplift a little bit.”
Ehrin also hopes that through that education, she’s showing multi-dimensional female characters to her female viewers. “My feeling, which I tried to put into it, is that women, especially in business who are ambitious, are very complex. It’s not like you’re just this one thing,” she said. “I really want female viewers to be able to spend time with complicated, grounded people that they relate to and see themselves in.”