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'It was a fraught time to film the show'

It was a fraught time to film the show

The second season of 'The Morning Show', the starry 'Apple TV+' series about a 'Good Morning America'-style talk show, was six weeks into filming in March 2020 when everything suddenly stopped cold.

"It was a Wednesday night and we were discussing a scene that I had to shoot the next day," recalled Jennifer Aniston, who plays one of the co-anchors of the fictional show-within-the-show and is also an executive producer of the series.

She added, "We were getting emails saying that this big company and that big company were shutting down. And then we hear that Tom and Rita got sick and suddenly the world is caving in on us."

The production shut down on March 11, the cast and crew scattered and the producers pondered how the show could go ahead. When they returned (remotely) and decided to rework the season, their most immediate challenge was how to incorporate coronavirus into the storyline, when the pandemic had just begun and no one knew how it would play out. This mirrored what happened during the first season, when events in the world - in that case, the ructions over the #MeToo movement - overtook what had been the script.

The first season ended with Alex and Bradley making explosive on-air revelations about UBA's sexually toxic work environment. The second, which premiered earlier this month, begins months later, on New Year's Eve 2019, with Bradley assigned to Times Square ball-drop broadcast duty and Alex, who has left the network, mulling over whether to return.

Filming started again in the fall of 2020 before COVID-19 vaccines became available. The production halted several more times, not because anyone fell ill, but because of government restrictions.

"As someone who usually lives with a skip in their step and a smile on their face, I was screamed out and cried out and emoted out by the end. It took weeks for my eyes to de-puff from all the emotions," she said.

AGENCIES (By Sarah Lyall)

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