Jennifer Aniston hasn’t worked as a series regular on television since Friends ended in 2004. But after 15 years on the big screen, she’s returning to the medium that first made her a star with Apple’s The Morning Show, a fictitious look at the news anchors who help America wake up in the morning. But why Apple, why this project, and why now?
Apple TV+ reportedly won a heated bidding war for the show and is said to have spent a whopping $300 million on the first two 10-episode seasons; Aniston herself is earning upwards of $1.1 million per episode for her work. Those type of dollar figures would attract just about anyone, but the real motivation behind Aniston’s return to television is a simple desire for quality storytelling.
“It wasn’t until the last couple of years when these streaming services were just sort of exploding with this amount of quality that I actually started to think, ‘Wow, that’s better than what I just did,'” she recently told Variety. “And then you’re seeing what’s available out there and it’s just diminishing and diminishing in terms of, it’s big Marvel movies. Or things that I’m not just asked to do or really that interested in living in a green screen.”
With the advent of at-home entertainment options, television has undergone a considerable change over the last 25 years, particularly as theatrical movie making has narrowed its focus to blockbusters. Movie ticket sales have been declining since 2002 and film studios are now increasingly reluctant to fund non-franchise material for traditional releases. This has enabled television to usurp several genres and become a safe haven for all manner of content. The shift has led to major conglomerates such as Amazon, Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal all joining the streaming industry alongside Netflix.
“I’m shocked this is where we are, but excited that this is where we are,” Aniston told the outlet. “I didn’t see it coming. I remember not understanding. What the hell does streaming mean? They’re like, ‘It’s there all the time.'”
The Morning Show will be available on Apple TV+ once it launches on November 1.