Apple orders Witherspoon, Aniston drama in TV push


This is a huge get for Apple's original content division, which spent considerable resources in order to win the series from other platforms like Netflix.

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston's untitled drama series about a morning talk show has landed at Apple with a two-season straight-to-series order, the company announced on Wednesday.

What we do know is that, in addition to starring in the show and executive producing, Aniston and Witherspoon will also own the show, along with former HBO head of drama Michael Ellenberg and his company Media Res. But Apple - armed with a $1 billion war chest for a big push into original programming - won, in part by committing to two seasons of the series, each 10 episodes, that will premiere as early as 2018.

It's the second show Apple has officially committed to since it hired Sony TV execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg in June; a month ago, Apple said it would reboot Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" show from the 1980s. It's also her on-screen reunion with Witherspoon, who guest-starred in Friends as the younger sister of Aniston's Rachel Green.

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In September, Witherspoon told People she and Aniston were having "so much fun brainstorming and laughing and sending each other emails" about the series.

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". News of a potential deal for the Spielberg show had emerged in October.

The series will mark Aniston's first regular TV gig since Friends ended in 2004. The series is written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Jay Carson (House of Cards), who also serves as showrunner.