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Apple gets Witherspoon-Aniston show


Reese Witherspoon, left, and Jennifer Aniston will star in and produce an untitled behind-the-scenes drama about a TV morning show for Apple’s streaming service. (AP file photos)

Apple’s second television endeavor confirms that it’s here to compete.

The tech giant has secured one of the most sought-after new projects in television, landing the rights to a new drama centered on a morning TV show and starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, the company announced Wednesday.

Apple has agreed to two seasons of 10 episodes each, a hefty commitment, and beat out other contenders like Netflix and Showtime that were vying for the show.

In its first big deal, Apple, which has a $1 billion war chest to compete for TV projects, acquired the rights to revive Steven Spielberg’s 1980s anthology series “Amazing Stories.”

But the Witherspoon-Aniston project is by far the splashier move. Witherspoon is coming off a major success with the HBO limited series “Big Little Lies,” for which she was a star and an executive producer. And the project represents the big return to television of Aniston, the former “Friends” star.

Few details are known about the series other than its big stars and its concept, which is built around a morning TV show in the style of “Today” and “Good Morning America.” The show does not have a title, and no scripts have yet been handed in.

Aniston and her Echo Films production company will be the executive producers, along with Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine company. Michael Ellenberg, the former head of drama at HBO, will also be an executive producer.

Jay Carson, Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary and a supervising producer of “House of Cards,” will be the series’ showrunner. And CNN’s Brian Stelter, who wrote a book about morning television, “Top of the Morning,” will be a consultant.

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