Apple executives hope Apple TV Plus’ new drama, The Morning Show, helps generate revenue from Apple users who would pay $4.99 a month to watch original shows. Unfortunately, the flagship program has been called brutally dull by critics. Despite the star-studded cast, critics who saw the first three episodes were more than disappointed; Variety chief TV critic Daniel D’Addario said The Morning Show was an “underwhelming streaming misfire.” The first three episodes critic saw will be available on November 1 exclusively via the Apple TV app.
The show, which costs $15 million per episode, stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Aniston plays Alex Levy, the host of the show who is surprised when co-host Mitch Kessler, played by Steve Carell, is fired amid reports of sexual harassment. Bradley Jackson, played by Reese Witherspoon, enters the picture. Witherspoon plays a reporter from a small town in West Virginia who became famous in a viral video.
Brian Stelter’s book describing the cutthroat world of morning television, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, inspired The Morning Show. While the book has good reviews, the show doesn’t. Critics have commented that people can see the drama on the show being played out in real life; the show isn’t as interesting.
Supposedly hiring top-tier creative talent and the eye-popping $2 million-an-episode salaries for Aniston and Witherspoon helped bump the price up. Apple has a history in investing heavily in new non-hardware products so they can earn additional revenue from Apple products as people are holding on to their phones longer.
Apple’s offering TV Plus is less expensive than Netflix and it will be free for a year for individuals who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
While Morning Show is TV Plus’s, flagship program, M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Servant Octavia Spencer’s Truth Be Told are launching in late November and early December.