'The Morning Show': Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon Say Season 2 Is a 'New World Order'

The Morning Show
Apple TV+

The stars of Apple TV+'s star-studded drama series spoke to reporters on Sunday about what worked and didn't work in season one.

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are reflecting on what worked and didn't work in the first season of Apple TV+'s The Morning Showand looking ahead to the next chapter.

Told through the lens of two complicated women, Alex Levy (Aniston) and Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon), working to navigate the minefield of high-octane jobs while facing crises in both their personal and professional lives, The Morning Show aims to explore the power dynamics between women and men, and women and women, in the workplace.

The cast and creatives, which included executive producers Michael Ellenberg and Mimi Leder, were asked Sunday at the winter Television Critics Association press tour about the show's gradual build in its first season to directly addressing #MeToo and its impact on the characters. 

"The show is... of course about #MeToo but it's about many other things as well. It's about gender dynamics, power dynamics, the abuse of power -- and not just sexual abuse of power, but power struggles in general," Aniston, who also serves as an executive producer, told reporters ahead of the Screen Actors Guild Awards. "And so I think what we were trying to do was take a very realistic and human situation that we have all, as a society, have allowed to happen unconsciously."

"As far as Steve [Carell]'s character, it was important to get inside of the head of a gentle, charismatic narcissist -- to be at the hand of the abuse of power and not even actually know it," she continued. "There are varying degrees of these people. So we wanted to have that perspective of that character to be explored. And also to have the conversations that were going on behind closed doors that people were too afraid to have out in the world because it was just too dangerous. Even I was a part of the show and as I watched the episodes, I was on the edge of my seat and I allowed myself to forget what happened and was watching as an audience member. I couldn't believe what was happening!"

Aniston's co-star and fellow executive producer, Witherspoon, noted that she felt there was "a lot to explore" in the new season when it came to #MeToo within the Morning Show world. (Aniston pointed out that the first 10 episodes only span one month.) 

"I think we have a lot to explore. I think it's not just #MeToo. I think we explore racism, sexism, homophobia, all the things that are happening in current news media, particularly in the broadcast world, which has existed for so many years. I think when we get to the end of the series, which I think it's important people saw the whole series because it was very hard to ascertain from three episodes really what was going on with Steve's character or Gugu [Mbatha-Raw]'s character," Witherspoon said. "It's much more impactful once you got to the end, what you saw what was going on underneath."

"But I think we're just beginning. I feel like the end of these 10 episodes, there's a whole new world order. It's chaos. No one knows who's in charge. What does leadership mean at this point?" she teased of season two. "I think that's what we're exploring in culture right now as we speak, as our culture has... We're trying to figure out what are the new dynamics, what is the new normal? ... We have a lot more to explore."

"We have a lot of ground, thankfully, to uncover," Aniston echoed.

With the future of the morning talk show unclear following the devastating freshman finale in December that left Mbatha-Raw's junior producer, Hannah, fatally overdosing on drugs after it was revealed Carell's Mitch sexually abused her, the producing team did their best to offer just enough nuggets ahead of season two to tide everyone over. 

"It was a climactic finale. Season two certainly picks up right where we ended," Ellenberg hinted, revealing that the first two scripts have already been completed. "You'll have to see [what happens]." Aniston couldn't help but quip that the start of the new season is off to a "very exciting" start.

One thing is for certain, the question mark surrounding Carell's return to The Morning Show remains unresolved. Ellenberg confirmed that talks are still ongoing to have Carell, who did not have a deal in place for season two, reprise his role.

"We're exploring it," Ellenberg said. "No update yet."

The Morning Show is up for three Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday for Aniston in Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and for Carell and Crudup in Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. The series was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Television Series, Drama, and Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama, for Aniston and Witherspoon. Crudup most recently won a Critics' Choice TV Award.

Watch a trailer for The Morning Show below.

The first season of The Morning Show is streaming now on Apple TV+.

To stay up to date on breaking TV news, sign up for ET's daily newsletter.