'The Morning Show' director calls reports of $300M budget 'way overblown,' talks #MeToo ti...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2019
Mimi Leder, an executive producer and director of Apple TV+ original "The Morning Show," on Thursday responded to reports that the series will cost Apple some $300 million over two seasons, calling the figure "way overblown."




Leading up to its debut this Friday, multiple publications, including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, reported Apple was doling out about $15 million per episode for "The Morning Show," a sum that equates to $300 million over two seasons.

Leder, who directed a number of episodes including the pilot, corrected the record in a statement to Business Insider, saying reports of the massive budget were "absolutely not" true.

"I think [the budget is] very much in line with a lot of shows you see on high-end television, but it certainly was not as high as what's been reported," Leder said.

The correction brings into doubt the veracity of past reports claiming to have knowledge of Apple's budgeted outlays for Apple TV+ projects. In July, for example, the Wall Street Journal pegged the cost of Jason Momoa epic "See" at nearly $15 million per episode, making it one of the most expensive TV shows in history.

As noted by Variety, supposed budgets for "The Morning Show" and "See" met or exceeded those of HBO's "Game of Thrones." The cable network spent $60 million to produce the award-winning show's six-episode final season.

In a separate interview with The Wrap, also published on Thursday, Leder discussed "The Morning Show's" storyline as it relates to the #MeToo movement and sexual misconduct at major news organizations.

"The show is a work of fiction and when the #MeToo movement happened, it became part of the show," Leder said. "And it was something we obviously did not want to ignore and would be negligent to ignore. We're in the midst of shifting a cultural reality that has existed for centuries and I think people really want to see this. I think it's really exciting to explore where we are right now in this process, in this moment in history, in the midst of a reckoning, of sorts."

Apple ordered the series in 2017, just as the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum. Leder said that while the show is not a direct take on any one event, it does deal with themes and situations that can lead to abuse of power.

"We look at ways in which we're all capable of normalizing bad behavior without even realizing it," she said. "And we look at how we're all capable of participating in the suppression and abuse of power, if only as a passive witness. And we explore how passivity can destroy lives."

"The Morning Show," starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, dives into the cutthroat world of morning news, as told from the perspective of two women working their way through a sometimes volatile work environment. The show takes a candid look at the power dynamics between men and women, as well as women and women, in the workplace. It debuts on Apple TV+ when the service launches on Friday.

AppleInsider took an early look at the episodes set for initial release and found the show lacks a clear voice despite excellent acting, directing and production values. That could, however, change as the series develops.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    I can see Apple willing to put in a lot of money for quality shows to help solidify their new streaming service, but a show like this costing 50% more per episode than the final season of Game of Thrones is crazy. That number is worse when you consider the running time for that last season.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    edited October 2019 hmurchisonrazorpitSpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 16
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,156member

    Interesting that the director felt the need to refute a $$$ budget number that can only gain The Morning Show notoriety and publicity, all of which would have benefited the show eyeball count and, of course, Apple.

    Maybe that’s a sensitive subject when you have to negotiate with actors and agents who pay attention to who is getting what.  Could make future negotiations more difficult.

    edited October 2019
  • Reply 4 of 16
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    That was ridiculous the first time you said it. Maybe you need to stop reading so much into a TV show and go worry about those kids on your lawn.
    lolliveranome
  • Reply 5 of 16
    prolineproline Posts: 202member
    "I think [the budget is] very much in line with a lot of shows you see on high-end television, but it certainly was not as high as what's been reported,"

    That's a non-denial denial if ever there was one. The actual budget could be $14.5 million per episode and this denial would be "true" (from a certain point of view). 
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Does anyone now how the 12 free months of Apple TV+ is going to work yet? I'm surprised there is no sign up option yet and that there have been no emails or anything sent out advising how to claim the 12 month subscription. Will be interesting to see how Apple plans on managing day one sign ups...
  • Reply 7 of 16
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,156member
    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    Dude, you are such a Debby Downer.  You know every kingdom, country and civilization on earth had barbarism, savagery and blood on its hands, as well as beauty and grace.  It is who we are as humanity.

    Your singular negative focus on any one country, regardless of which one, is myopic pointless.  And more reflective of your own disposition on life.

    And lighten up.  Every generation wants its own small rebellion.  Millions of our youth will spend an hour living vicariously on See’s rebelliousness.  Oh the humanity.  It’s a natural part of growing up.  SMILE!!!
    lolliveremig647
  • Reply 8 of 16
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I won't be watching this show, but that's ok, not every show is made for every viewer group, and some show about  #metoo crap is obviously not something that is worth my time or interest.

    There are a few other shows that I will be checking out, and so far the one that I am most looking forward to is for all mankind.

    I'm not expecting every show that Apple has to be great, that is impossible, but as long as some of them are pretty good, then I'd be happy. I'm also expecting a few duds too, but that's ok too. As long as there are some strong shows, then all is good. We shall see.


  • Reply 9 of 16
    proline said:
    "I think [the budget is] very much in line with a lot of shows you see on high-end television, but it certainly was not as high as what's been reported,"

    That's a non-denial denial if ever there was one. The actual budget could be $14.5 million per episode and this denial would be "true" (from a certain point of view). 
    Huh? That’s absolute denial. Lots of show on high-end TV doesn’t have the budget GoT, especially the last season, has. “was not as high as what's been reported” is quite clear. 
  • Reply 10 of 16

    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    If that’s the only thing you take from the trailer then you have more problem than those “misled” kids in your post. 
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Soli said:
    I can see Apple willing to put in a lot of money for quality shows to help solidify their new streaming service, but a show like this costing 50% more per episode than the final season of Game of Thrones is crazy. That number is worse when you consider the running time for that last season.
    To compare the two is slightly disingenious. GoT was already well established with a cast and crew who knew what they were doing. Locations were known and sets existed. It was a well oiled machine.

    OTOH, The Morning Show has to be created from the ground up.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    I am watching now, on to episode 2.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,188member
    Apple is very desperate to get their toe in the door to compete against Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and soon, Disney, all of whom have a head start in time, domain expertise, customer base, and proven credibility in the industry. It's going to be an absolute windfall for those in the entertainment industry who will view Apple as the biggest and sweetest of all sugar daddies ever to roll in to town with a pocket full of cash to spend. I just hope Apple keeps their wits about them and doesn't go crazy and stupid and start slinging cash around like there's no tomorrow. No matter how big Apple's bankroll may be, they are still newbies in this space and still have to prove themselves to be worthy. Their approach does seem a bit formulaic at this point, as if they are applying some of the same processes used to design great products to put together great entertainment content, i.e., make sure you use the best components and do a stellar job of integrating them. So we'll have to wait and see what they can do and how much of Apple's Culture, as opposed to Apple's Cash, influences the value and quality of what comes out of production. 
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    Yeah, the reason the kids are out trying to save their future, instead of being in school, is because people like you are in charge.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 16
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,083member
    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.
    Again? Get out of here with this ridiculous boomer horseshit.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    georgie01 said:
    Personally, when I saw the trailer for ‘See’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to have respect for Apple’s efforts and so I haven’t considered their service. I don’t really care how much they spend on their shows.

    ’See’ appears to not-so-subtly present the idea that the youth can finally see as where the established order can’t. That is dangerous and irresponsible for our current society, one where the youth is grossly undereducated and misled about American government and history. How can the younger generation have any clue about where to lead the nation when they have little idea and little respect for the circumstances that brought about America? If anything they are destine to repeat history out of ignorance, being so out of touch with the very real and very repeatable past.

    I really hope you do not hear about "For All Mankind". That would probably give you a heart attack.
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