Following a multiple-outlet bidding war, Apple has emerged as the victor for a morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
The tech giant has picked up the untitled drama with a straight-to-series, two-season order (20 episodes total). Aniston (Friends) and Witherspoon (Big Little Lies) will star, exec produce and co-own the show alongside Michael Ellenberg's Media Res company, which produces the show for Apple. Sources describe the pricetag on the show as comparable to other premium fare with big stars attached. As for how racy it will be, that's still to be determined as there are no scripts for the drama yet.
The show is described as 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. Brian Stelter's book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV — which was previously in development at Lifetime as a TV movie — will provide additional background for the show, which is based on an original concept by Ellenberg.
See photos of Jennifer Aniston:
Jennifer Aniston through the years
Jennifer Aniston through the years
FERRIS BUELLER -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Jeannie Bueller -- Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1990 file photo of Jennifer Aniston at a NBC pool party in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (back l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (front l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
255721 02: Jennifer Aniston poses January 4, 1996 in Aspen, CO. Along with her role as Rachel on the television show 'Friends,' actress Aniston starred in the films 'Picture Perfect' and 'She's The One.' (Photo by Russell Turiak/Liaison)
1997 Jennifer Aniston Stars In The Movie 'Til There Was You'. (Photo By Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by Gerald Weinman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 03: Jennifer Aniston arrives for premiere of movie 'Meet Joe Black' at the Ziegfeld Theater. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
372882 01: Jennifer Aniston stars in 'Friends,' 1999-2000 season. Photo by: Warner Bros. NBC
Co-hosts Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston at 'The 10th Annual Fire & Ice Ball', a gala event, hosted by Lilly Tartikoff and Ronald O. Perelman, to raise funds for Revlon/UCLA women's cancer research program. 12/11/00 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
PASADENA, : Actress Jennifer Aniston of the television show 'Friends' accepts her People's Choice Award for 'Favorite Female Television Performer' during the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards 07 January 2001 in Pasadena CA. AFP Photo Lucy NICHOLSON/ (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 9/5/01. Los Angeles. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Jennifer Aniston during The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston (Photo by J. Merritt/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt during 'Along Came Polly' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston during 9th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Awards Gala Ceremony - Show at Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J.Sciulli/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston, presenter (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the premiere screening of the FX Network's 'Dirt' at the Paramount Theater on December 9, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Jennifer Aniston visits the ''Late Show with David Letterman'' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 17, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - NOVEMBER 26: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends the Gala evening to celebrate the re-opening of Hotel La Mamounia on November 26, 2009 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Fizcairn/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere of 'The Bounty Hunter' at Ziegfeld Theatre on March 16, 2010 in New York, New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 876 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Aniston with host Jimmy Fallon during an interview on August 1, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends 'El Hormiguero' Tv showon February 22, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Horrible Bosses' Los Angeles premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 30, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Jennifer Aniston arrives as ELLE Honors Hollywood+s Most Esteemed Women in the 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute; at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills on October 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the American Cinematheque 26th annual award presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/producer Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Life Of Crime' Premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 14, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actress Jennifer Aniston speaks onstage during a Q&A following the screening of 'Cake' during the 2014 Variety Screening Series at ArcLight Hollywood on November 21, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Premiere Of Lionsgate Premiere's 'She's Funny That Way' at Harmony Gold on August 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Aniston, who will make her first TV series regular return more than a decade after Friends, will exec produce via her Echo Films banner. Witherspoon, fresh off the success of HBO's Big Little Lies, will exec produce via her Hello Sunshine company. The series is written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Jay Carson (House of Cards), who also serves as showrunner. Witherspoon, who memorably guest starred as Aniston's younger sister on Friends, have remained friends over the years with the morning show drama serving as an on-screen reunion. The package was taken out in July and drew interest from multiple outlets, including Showtime, sources say.
Since leaving his position as head of drama at HBO, Ellenberg has focused on development and has teamed with Bron Studios to launch Media Res. The company's first project in the works is Scenes From a Marriage, a limited-series take based on the five-hour 1973 film, with In Treatment's Hagai Levi and playwright Amy Herzog attached.
The Aniston-Witherspoon drama becomes Apple's second straight-to-series order and joins Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories as the first projects the tech giant has picked up under programming heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. The Amazing Stories anthology is execu produced by Spielberg in partnership with Bryan Fuller, who serves as showrunner. The drama will transport the audience to worlds of wonder through the lens of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers. Amblin Television's Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Hart Hanson exec produce the drama from Universal Television.
See photos of Reese Witherspoon:
Reese Witherspoon out and about
Reese Witherspoon out and about
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by UMV/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon during the WSJ Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Reese Witherspoon (L) and Ava Phillippe attend ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Real Is Rare, Real Is A Diamond and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE)
Reese Witherspoon during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Home Again' special screening at The Washington Mayfair Hotel on September 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Reese Witherspoon poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Reese Witherspoon attends the HBO's Official 2017 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 17: The cast of Big Little Lies, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zoï¿½Kravitz at the 69TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS, LIVE from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 17 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/5:00-8:00 PM live PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Trae Patton/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on September 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Reese Witherspoon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0732 -- Pictured: Actress Reese Witherspoon during an interview on September 7, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Reese Witherspoon seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Reese Witherspoon is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, September 7, 2017 on the ABC Television Network.
(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Reese Witherspoon attends The Cinema Society with Elizabeth Arden & Lindt Chocolate host the after party for Open Road Films' 'Home Again' at The Skylark on September 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the premiere of 'Home Again' at Directors Guild of America on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Elizabeth Phillippe attend the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Home Again' on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at HBO 'Big Little Lies' FYC at DGA Theater on July 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)
D23 EXPO 2017 - Saturday, July 15, 2017 - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event - brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Image Group LA / Disney via Getty Images)
MINDY KALING, OPRAH WINFREY, REESE WITHERSPOON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 04: Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon at the Goldie Hawn And Kurt Russell Honored With Double Star Ceremony On The Hollywood Walk Of Fameon May 4, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Commes Des Garcons: Art of the In-Between', the 2017 Costume Institute Benefit at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
What remains to be seen, however, is just how Apple will roll out its original scripted series and if it could utilize its streaming music service to do so and if the company — with $260 billion in cash surplus — will turn assets like iPhones to market its programming.
Premiere dates for Amazing Stories and the morning news show have not yet been determined.
Aniston, who earned five Emmy nominations and won one for her role as Rachel Green on NBC's Friends, is repped by CAA, Lighthouse Management and Hansen Jacobson. Witherspoon, who has been active on the development side, won an Oscar for her role in Walk the Line and also scored a nomination for Wild. More recently, she scored an Emmy nom for her starring role in HBO's Big Little Lies with the limited series likely to return for a second season after taking home the win in the category. She is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.
Carson, repped by Management 360, has been with Netflix's House of Cards for the past three years, serving as a supervising producer and political consultant.