Julianna Margulies Will Not Return to ‘The Morning Show’ for Season 4 (EXCLUSIVE)

Julianna Margulies will not be returning to Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” for Season 4.

Sources tell Variety that the decision was made before the controversy stirred by a podcast that featured Margulies last year, and that she was offered a one-episode appearance in Season 4 that she turned down. The sources also say she has been asked about her interest in returning for a potential fifth season.

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Margulies joined “The Morning Show” in Season 2 as journalist Laura Peterson, who becomes Bradley Jackson’s (Reese Witherspoon) love interest; the two break up early in Season 3, though Laura’s arc continues through the remaining episodes.

In November, while discussing the war in Gaza, Margulies made derogatory comments about Black and LGBTQ people, including that lesbian critics of Israel “offended [her] as a lesbian” since she played one on “The Morning Show.” She subsequently apologized for her remarks.

After the Season 3 finale of “The Morning Show,” which aired before the podcast, showrunner Charlotte Stoudt told Variety that she was thinking about how to incorporate Margulies’ character in Season 4, but noted that her ideas were preliminary.

“We’re very, very, very early in the room, but I think I’d want to explore [Laura] more,” she said. “Her dimensionality. Not just, ‘I’m Laura and I love Bradley, and she occasionally drives me crazy!’ I think there’s there’s more to Laura than that.”

Margulies will soon appear on Broadway opposite Peter Gallagher in “Left on Tenth,” an autobiographical play written by Delia Ephron, co-writer of “You’ve Got Mail” and sister of Nora Ephron. Margulies also stars in Edward Burns’ upcoming film “Millers in Marriage.”

“The Morning Show” follows the major players of a morning news show and the network that airs it during major political, financial and personnel scandals. Along with Witherspoon, the series stars Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Greta Lee, Jon Hamm and Nicole Beharie. Marion Cotillard was recently announced as a Season 4 cast member. Executive producers include Witherspoon, Aniston, Stoudt, Mimi Leder, Michael Ellenberg, Kristin Hahn and Lauren Neustadter.

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