Mimi Leder will direct and executive produce Apple’s upcoming drama about morning TV with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
The series, based partly on CNN media reporter Brian Stelter’s book “Top of the Morning,” provides 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. Stelter is a consultant on the series, with his 2013 book serving as additional background material for the writers.
Leder has been one of TV’s most sought-after directors, having helmed episodes for “The Leftovers,” “ER” and “Shameless,” among others during her three-decade career. For her work as a director and producer in television, she has received two Emmy Awards, seven additional Emmy nominations and three Directors Guild of America Award nominations.
Leder is currently in post-production on the film, “On the Basis of Sex,” which will be released in December from Participant Media and Focus Features. Other film credits include “The Peacemaker” and “Deep Impact,” which at the time was the highest grossing film ever by a female director.
The untitled drama is executive produced by Aniston through her Echo Films banner; Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter through Hello Sunshine and Michael Ellenberg through Media Res. Kerry Ehrin, who wrote the series, will serve as showrunner.
The drama is part of Apple’s ambitious foray into television. The tech monolith has ordered almost 20 original shows, a stack of poached and pedigreed executives, A-list collaborators across genres and a reported plan to enter the Oscar race — all to set to start rolling out next year.