There's money in The Morning Show business. Two-and-a-half decades after Friends aired its series premiere, Jennifer Aniston is making her first television debut since with The Morning Show, alongside Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The one-hour drama, which will debut on Apple TV+ on Nov. 1, is set to make Aniston and Witherspoon a whole lot of money.
The series cost $15 million an episode to make, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with a total of $300 million for the two 10-episode seasons. According to the report, Aniston, 50, and Witherspoon, 43, who star as Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson, respectively, earn a cool $2 million each per episode — coming in at a total of $20 million each, per season.
Carell, who plays Mitch Kessler in the drama, has signed for just one season and his salary has not been revealed — although a 2018 report by Variety stated that he was set to make $600,000 an episode.
Witherspoon's paycheck will be a big step up from what she made during Season 1 of Big Little Lies, which was reportedly between $250,000 and $350,000 (and increased to nearly $1 million for Season 2). During her time on Friends, Aniston made $75,000 per episode in Season 3 (1997), $85,000 in Season 4 (1998), $100,000 in Season 5 (1999), $125,000 in Season 6 (2000), $750,000 in Seasons 7 and 8 (2001-2002), and $1 million in Seasons 9 and 10 (2003-2004).
Speaking of big-time TV salaries, Javier Bardem is reportedly bringing in $1.2 million per episode on Amazon's Cortés, and Julia Roberts earned $600,000 per episode for Amazon's Homecoming.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Aniston credited Witherspoon with drawing her back into the TV landscape. "It was all your fault. It was, literally," Aniston joked to her friend and co-star. "The whole package that was presented was ideal. You couldn't have dreamed something up better than this world."
She had no shortage of praise for Witherspoon as a producing partner and a scene partner, calling her "literally one of the hardest working women ever."
"You went right in from Big Little Lies right into this, then right [Little Fires Everywhere]," she gushed to Witherspoon, referring to her upcoming Hulu series co-starring Kerry Washington. "I mean, it's head-spinning."
As well as the women get along in real life, their on-screen personas are remarkably adversarial. In The Morning Show, Aniston stars as a respected veteran morning news anchor whose longtime co-anchor, played by Steve Carell, is fired in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. His spot is filled by a younger ambitious local TV journalist played by Witherspoon who is thrust into the spotlight as she takes on the high-profile position.
Apple TV+, which costs $5 a month, launches on Friday, Nov. 1, along with eight other new series in addition to The Morning Show, including Dickinson, For All Mankind and The Elephant Queen. M. Night Shyamalan's thriller Servant will launch Nov. 28 and Octavia Spencer's Truth Be Told is set for Dec. 6.
Photo credit: NOAH BERGER / Contributor / Getty
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