Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston have just brought Apple into the scripted TV game. Their previously announced untitled drama about daytime talk show hosts has been granted a straight-to-series order for two seasons by the tech giant, which has recently begun developing original content.
The series, per Apple, will offer “an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning, exploring the unique challenges faced by the women (and men) who carry out this daily televised ritual.”
Executive produced by Witherspoon, it’s a seismic deal for a number of reasons. Not only is the “Big Little Lies” star and executive producer committing fully to television after a longtime career working in film, but the show also marks Aniston’s official return to episodic storytelling since her time starring on “Friends.”
In addition, it’s Apple’s second major acquisition since revealing its plans to spend $1 billion (with a B) on original programming each year, following the hiring of former Sony TV execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. (Last month, it was announced that Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller were rebooting the 1980s franchise “Amazing Stories” for the service.)
It’s notable that Apple was able to pick up this series, which the team began shopping around to various platforms last summer, as it represents a major move for a new player in the television ecosystem.
The untitled drama, from studio Media Res, is written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Jay Carson (“House of Cards”), who serves as showrunner, with CNN correspondent Brian Stelter operating as a consultant. Media Res founder Michael Ellenberg is an executive producer.