The Morning Show (2019) s01e01 Episode Script

The Morning Show

[VIBRATING.]
Oh, God.
Fred, what happened? So, that's it? Motherfuck, we're destroyed.
[PANTING.]
No, I'll tell him.
[VIBRATING.]
[VIBRATING.]
[VIBRATING.]
[SIGHS.]
Someone better be dead, buddy.
- [BEEPING.]
- [GROANS.]
Mm-mmm.
[YAWNS.]
[SIGHS.]
[PHONE VIBRATING.]
[VOCALIZING.]
Shit.
[SIGHS.]
[MAN 1.]
Following that, you'll interview Gerard Thompson, Art Department at Vanderbilt, to discuss a recently resurfaced Van Gogh.
[MAN 2.]
I'm scheduling an hour to go over your speech for Friday night.
I think it's gonna run over though.
I'm gonna push your drinks with Jane Fonda.
[MAN 1.]
Next up, you'll interview the senator to discuss her book on policy-making and why it's broken.
[MAN 2.]
You need to do your final fitting for your gown for Friday.
They're gonna bring it to the studio today.
[MAN 1.]
And if you ever want the senator on the show again [MAN 2.]
You have a parent-teacher night at Lizzy's school next week.
[MAN 1.]
Chip's trying to get ahold of you.
Something urgent.
[MAN 2 FAINT, INDISTINCT.]
Oh, my God.
Who died? ["AMERICAN PIE" PLAYS ON RADIO.]
Oh, my God.
Jesus, would you turn this off? [MUSIC STOPS.]
He's been singing about the same fucking plane crash the past 50 years.
Everybody's still dead.
Time to move on.
- Am I right, Joe? - Yep.
Hey, watch the bumps.
I'm doing my eyeliner.
I'm And, Alan, what is this anyway? What is this bullshit? What exactly is bullshit this time? What is it? This stupid idea that we're gonna convince the world's coal-fired power plants to invest in carbon capture without linkage.
Oh, my God, Jesus.
Can we please not have this linkage debate again? - What? - It's not about linkage.
This is about a protest and how the town is divided.
- That's what this is about.
- Yes, I know.
Who went through all the burgers? - No.
- Here, Joe.
Have my french fries.
- Thank you.
- They're cold, but don't complain.
How many burgers did you eat, Joe? By the way, okay, so we're gonna talk about how the town's divided.
But we're also gonna slip in how safe carbon capture is.
Mm-hmm.
What? You put it in the copy.
This is not my agenda, Bradley, okay? I'm just a liberal Harvard longhair who cut his hair short for this job.
This is a stepping-stone for me.
I play by the rules.
The truth is the truth, whether you're writing for The Bumfuck Gazette - or The New York Times.
- Shit.
- I hope we made the right turn.
- By the way, that was an award-worthy shoehorning of the word "Harvard" into the conversation.
[ALAN.]
Okay, you guys, can we please I swear, Joe.
Everybody who's ever been to Harvard can make an entire conversation out of the word "Harvard," like, "Harvard, Harvard, Harvard?" - Harvard, Harvard, Harvard.
- [LAUGHS.]
Are we gonna keep doing this? How long is this gonna go on for? Holy shit.
Mitch Kessler just got fired off The Morning Show.
- What? - Wait, what? What the hell happened? [JOE.]
Let me see.
One less idiot to peddle soft news to the masses.
[WOMAN.]
Prior to being named coanchor of The Morning Show, the fallen Kessler was a fixture of UBA's news division, serving as UBA's White House correspondent, a presidential debate moderator and network field correspondent.
The recipient of multiple broadcast awards, including a Leadership in Journalism award from the New York Media Foundation he and the TMS team have won 12 Daytime Emmys in their 15-year tenure.
Late last night, The New York Times was reportedly tipped off to an internal investigation by UBA into Kessler's sexual misconduct.
Up until today, The Morning Show was the only morning news broadcast to dodge the Me Too scandals that have seemingly plagued its competitors.
- When? - Just broke.
Does she know yet? She knows.
We're reworking the whole show.
We are live in 90 minutes.
Buckle up.
Layla's working on new copy.
Get it to Alex A.
S.
A.
P.
Got it.
We had no choice.
It was multiple complaints of sexual misconduct.
How multiple? Who? When? I don't know.
It's confidential.
It leaked to the Times overnight.
How? I have no clue who leaked it.
I fucking wish I knew.
I'm trying to deal with this quietly.
Shit.
Okay.
HR has been looking into it for a few weeks.
I didn't want I didn't wanna drag you in.
I was trying to protect you, Alex, okay? Before you [DOOR CLOSES.]
You knew about this, and you didn't tell me? What am I? Some fucking PA from Idaho who doesn't need to know what's going on? Alex, I was trying to respect your space - My space.
- like you asked me to, so that you can go out there every morning and do what you do, what America needs you to do.
Oh, fuck you, Chip.
Fuck you.
Don't drag America into this.
They've got enough shit to deal with.
This affects me, okay? My on-air partner, my TV husband [SIGHS.]
is a sexual predator now? What part of you thought that I should not have been involved in this conversation? You think chemistry just comes in a bottle, and we go out and we buy another one at Whole Foods? Charlie Black's office.
Please hold one moment.
Charlie Black's office.
Please hold one moment.
Rena.
Where is he? We need to discuss how we're handling the show today.
He's in there with her.
And he said no interruptions.
Rena, we're live in less than two hours, for Chrissake.
Charlie Black's office.
Please hol Oh.
Hi.
Let me see if I can get him.
- Really? Wow.
- Really.
- Excuse me.
- Wow.
- [ALEX.]
My ass.
You know that.
- [CHIP.]
True.
But - [ALEX.]
What? - It's the network Cory and Fred.
- Fabulous.
Put 'em through.
- Yeah.
- [PHONE RINGS.]
- I got it.
- Hi, it's Alex.
- And Chip.
- Alex? Alex, it's Cory here.
- And Fred.
I am just incredibly sorry about this.
I feel absolutely terrible.
I feel like Mitch died.
The Mitch that I knew.
And I've only been running the news division for a month, so I can't imagine what you must be feeling.
[FRED.]
My condolences, Alex.
This is so hard for all of us.
Look, we're all a family here, and we've had a tragedy.
So, we're [FRED.]
Any kind of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated by the network.
- [CORY.]
Well, absolutely not.
- [FRED.]
You think you know someone Okay, thank you, Fred and Cory.
But I can't really think about that right now because I've got to focus on what we're putting on the show in less than two hours.
- More caffeine.
- Thank you.
Oh, thank you.
That's exactly why you're the pro that you are.
We just have to take this one step at a time, right? Can't let the fact that there's hundreds of millions of advertising dollars at stake here We're not gonna let that - Fuck you.
- bother us, because change can be good.
And one man's tragedy, it can be another man's opportunity.
So let's, fuck yeah, embrace it.
And use this to reinvent ourselves, make things bigger and better.
Well Thank God we've got you, Alex.
You will carry us through this.
I guess that's why they've been dragging their feet on closing my renegotiations.
Yeah.
Hey, guys.
So listen, my gut instinct is to bring the news to America myself honestly.
Addressing the truth is the only way to protect our integrity.
So, we will talk to them as members of our family.
We will grieve with them.
We will go through this together.
She's a class act.
All the way.
Shut up.
And if we use this right, this is our chance to get our audience back.
I couldn't agree more, Alex.
I think you've got the right idea there.
[ALEX.]
Pull the family together.
And we'll get a surge in our ratings for a few days.
And I was gonna say that.
May sweeps are imminent, let's not forget.
And yes, yes.
We can discuss who we're gonna be putting in Mitch's chair today.
But I am addressing America up top on my own.
- Like we have a choice.
- [PUSHES BUTTON.]
[ALEX.]
I don't want anyone sitting in Mitch's chair.
Not during this.
That's mine.
[SIGHS.]
I can't feel anything.
Don't worry.
I'll be with you.
You'll get out there, and you'll feel it.
You'll find it, like you always do.
[PHONE VIBRATING.]
[VIBRATING CONTINUES.]
[CLICK.]
[EXHALES.]
[COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYING.]
[MUSIC FADES OUT.]
- Bradley.
- What? I'm telling you something.
It's for your own good.
What? You're awful.
Blow me, Alan.
Just because I push back? You don't push back.
You incinerate.
Everyone says it.
You fight everyone on everything.
Well, there's a lot of sloppy work done around here, mainly by you.
You know that anchor opening on the late hour? They're giving it to Sarah.
Sarah? The world's only conservative lesbian who weirdly looks like Mary Hart and has also been at the channel three years less than me? People like her.
It's not a crime, you know? Gotcha.
Hey, just do yourself a favor.
Try to be more agreeable, for Chrissake! I am fucking agreeable! Coal creates jobs! Coal creates jobs! Coal creates jobs! Coal creates jobs! Coal creates jobs! Coal creates jobs! No more coal! No more coal! - is what used to be - No more coal! No more coal! - No more coal! No more coal! - [PHONE VIBRATING.]
No more coal! No more coal! No more coal! Hey, I gotta take this.
I got something going on at home.
- No more coal! No more coal! - Mom, hold on.
Hey, honey.
You sound like you don't want to talk.
Hold on, Mom.
I'm doing my job at a protest right now.
What's going on? A protest? Is everything safe? I'm at a coal mine.
No, I'm safe.
Is Hal okay? He's doing just fine.
Mom, speak up.
I can't hear you.
You sound really busy.
I just wanna let you know I brought your brother home.
You did not.
Don't take that tone.
You sound like a bitch, honey.
- I'll talk to you later.
- No more coal! No more coal! - Joe! Jesus.
Fuck.
- No more coal! No more coal! Joe.
Hey.
- Over here.
- Okay.
God.
- Yeah.
Sorry about that.
- Okay, Bradley, this is Jenna Macantire, - she's protesting mines.
- Hey.
This is Bob Stephens.
His family's been in the mining business for generations.
All right.
I got it.
I'm gonna need a wide shot, okay? And then we'll go on three and two, one.
[GRUNTING.]
- Hey! You okay, Joe? - [JOE.]
Yeah.
Hey.
What are you doing? Let go of me, fake news bitch! - What? - Get off of me.
What did you fucking call me? Called you a fake news bitch is what I called you.
Oh, yeah? I'm fake news? What's the real news then? You tell me five facts about coal, and I'll let you go.
I don't have to tell you shit, lady.
You knocked down my cameraman.
Otherwise I'm gonna have you arrested for assault.
I bet you don't know jack shit about coal.
You're just out here trying to raise some hell.
Go! Tell me! Coal is a cheap fuel.
[IMITATES BUZZER.]
Wrong! What else? I don't know.
It's easy to get for people.
Wrong! What else? It makes jobs for everybody.
Everyone's happy.
Yeah, so does death, okay? You think that's a good idea? - No, I don't - If it's so positive, why do you think all these people are out here protesting? I don't know.
Because they think it's dangerous or Do you think it's dangerous? Do you even know what's in coal ash? Arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, uranium.
That is some toxic shit.
And what about jobs? How many jobs have been lost in the last ten years? - I don't know.
- Huh? Thousands! Thousands of fucking families knocked on their asses.
And it's just a big wheel that goes around.
Liberals add sanctions.
Conservatives remove those sanctions.
And they just keep fighting 'cause all they wanna do is hear themselves talk.
And they all want to be right.
And they all wanna win.
And that's all they fucking care about.
And there's a human cost! And it's exhausting! I'm exhausted! - Okay.
Okay.
Okay, Jesus.
- [PANTING.]
Get off me.
[PANTING.]
Don't knock over old men.
I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
Okay.
- Okay, let's take it away.
- I'm ready.
I'm ready.
Okay, are y'all ready? In three, two, one.
Hi.
I'm Bradley Jackson at Lachlan Coal Mine, reporting to you today.
This coal mine is reopening after closing four years ago due to declining coal demands and rising regulatory threats, costing this area thousands of jobs.
It's time.
[ALEX.]
I'm ready.
[EXHALES.]
[SIGHS.]
I revised the copy myself.
I gave my copy.
I know what I'm saying.
[SIGHS.]
Yeah.
- Mm.
- Okay.
Last looks.
Thanks.
[CLEARS THROAT.]
Okay.
There.
Thanks.
- Okay, clear.
- [ASSISTANT.]
Check the time.
[DIRECTOR.]
Stand by, A.
Roll A.
Eight seconds to you.
Five [WOMAN.]
Four, three.
- [THEME SONG PLAYS.]
- [DIRECTOR.]
Two.
Start your move.
Cue her.
Good morning.
I'm bringing you some sad and upsetting news.
Mitch Kessler, my cohost and partner of 15 years, was fired today for sexual misconduct.
All right.
Stay strong.
First and foremost, I want to offer our sympathy and support to the women.
We are devastated that this happened on our watch, and our hearts are with you.
And to you at home, I understand how you must be feeling because I and the whole team here at The Morning Show are feeling the same way.
Shock, disappointment, disbelief.
She's throwing me under the bus.
And while I don't know the details of the allegations, I understand that they were serious and that keeping Mitch on was not an option.
I don't think we need to watch any more of this.
Let's prep you for your Do not touch that remote.
[ALEX.]
We know he was part of our family, of your families.
We will all miss that person.
But there are consequences in life.
As a woman, I can say there often aren't enough of them.
And while I will miss the Mitch I thought I knew with all of my heart I am proud to work on a network and live in a country that upholds consequences.
What a load.
So, please have patience with us as we find our footing in the next few days.
[CORY.]
She's on fire today.
We will bring you the news, as always.
Too bad we can't always throw a crisis at her.
- It turns her lights on.
- We will share any information we have with you.
You are part of this family.
And we will get through this together.
We'll be right back.
[DIRECTOR.]
We're back in 30.
It's good.
Good.
That was beautiful.
[WOMAN.]
Roll A.
Back in two minutes.
- [MAN.]
Drop down to 40%.
Hold.
- [SIGHS.]
- [MAN.]
Yeah, that's perfect.
- [CLEARS THROAT.]
- Here are some tissues.
- No, I don't need it.
- I'm good.
- Okay.
[CLEARS THROAT.]
[CHATTERING.]
[SIGHS.]
- [CHATTERING.]
- [PHONE CHIMES.]
I bet you don't know jack shit about coal.
You're just out here trying to raise some hell.
Go ahead.
Tell me.
- [MAN.]
I don't know, coal - [BRADLEY.]
What? - [MAN.]
Coal is a cheap fuel.
- Shit.
Bradley Jackson.
Stop your ass right there.
Why the hell am I hearing that you hired Sarah Oppenheimer for the anchor job on America On Point? Don't even.
You know what everybody's talking about here today? Two things.
Mitch Kessler is fired and Bradley Jackson lost her shit at the protest.
Climb off me, Jones.
How was I supposed to know people were filming me? What? Like it's not the 21st century? I was talking to him about the truth.
You remember the truth? Journalism? We're newspeople, Jones.
Listen to yourself.
I gave you a shot.
I know you did.
When nobody else would.
You've been bouncing around for years, and we both know why.
- I don't wanna talk about that.
- "Two-Fucks Jackson.
" I was very young.
I got flustered.
And that was ten years ago.
You get too hot too fast, Bradley.
I accidentally said "fuck.
" Okay? And then I got mad at myself and Said "fuck" again, on live TV.
[SIGHS.]
I remember.
And there goes the ballad of Bradley Jackson.
You know what? Find some other puppet.
Find some other person that you can put slanted copy in front of them, that'll go to the coal mine protests, your school shootings, the pregnant lady that got hit by a truck.
Find somebody else to be invisible for you, to deal with the world's heartaches and not have any fucking feelings about it! I quit! Research shows that sexual harassment in the early stages of one's career can lead to long-term psychological damage.
And specifically, what type of behavior or or, uh, uh, harassment would cause that kind of long-term damage? [DIRECTOR.]
Stand by camera three.
Jesus, Yanko.
Could he be more uncomfortable talking about this? [SIGHS.]
Don't let Yanko talk.
As you said, Dr.
Marino, this affects so many of us.
What would you say You knocked down my cameraman.
Otherwise I'm gonna have you arrested for assault.
I bet you don't know jack shit about coal.
You're just out here trying to raise some hell.
Go ahead.
Tell me.
- I don't know - What? Coal is a cheap fuel.
[IMITATES BUZZER.]
Wrong! What else? Hannah.
Wrong! What else? You said you were looking for stories about strong women tomorrow.
Check this out.
[BRADLEY.]
If it's so fucking great, why are these people are out here protesting? - I don't know.
They think it's dangerous.
- Do you even know what's in coal ash? - Who is this? - Let me help you out.
Bradley Jackson, some conservative correspondent for SENN.
She's fucking funny, but also resonates some truth.
And the weary voice of America speaks out.
It's like a little piece of performance art.
[BRADLEY.]
Thousands.
Thousands of jobs have been lost.
They can't do this to me.
It's illegal.
They can't just take my life away based on hearsay.
They have documented complaints, Mitch.
We have to deal with the reality Documented complaints about what? That I had affairs? Since when is that a crime? No, no, no, no.
No.
I'm I'm not proud of it, but what the fuck? I didn't invent extracurricular sex.
What is happening here? The network that I gave 20 years of my life plus is now locking me out.
Throwing me to the wolves.
They won't even engage in a discussion with me? Listen, take it easy.
Don't get all worked up "Don't get all worked up"? Are you kidding me? My life just ended for no good reason, and I should stay calm? You know what? I didn't rape anybody! I didn't fire anybody.
I didn't jizz into a plant in front of somebody.
You know what I did? I fucked a couple of PA's and assistants.
Big fuckin' deal.
They liked it.
I mean, who are we kidding? Everything's changed, but they forgot to send me the memo.
Since the dawn of time, men have used their power to attract women.
And now let's bust Mitch Kessler's head over it.
Mitch, let me make you a drink.
I didn't hold a gun to anybody's head.
It was consensual.
Most of them came on to me.
One of them actually told me that I taught her how to have good sex! And now, that stupid, comedy weather fuck is in my seat.
No fucking way! Come on.
Fuck you! Fuck you! God.
You little motherfucker! God damn it! [GRUNTING, SCREAMING.]
[GRUNTING.]
[GRUNTS.]
- [CLATTERS ON FLOOR.]
- [PANTING.]
Okay.
We're gonna fight this.
[PANTING.]
We're gonna come up with a plan, and we're gonna fight this.
[SIGHS.]
- [FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING.]
- Okay.
Okay.
[CLEARS THROAT.]
I'm picking up the kids from school and taking them to the Hamptons.
I'm divorcing you.
I haven't liked you for a while anyway.
Goodbye.
Come on, Paige.
[SIGHS.]
Fuck! [KNOCKING.]
- Who is it? - [CHIP.]
It's me.
You did great.
Yanko was a lot of work.
It was a bad call from Cory.
You think? We better have our shit together when the network jerk-offs get here today.
And I don't want that new guy from the entertainment division making the call about who sits in that chair next to me.
Because I have to carry their ass! The guy's a fucking moron.
They should never have made him the head of the news division.
[SIGHS.]
And I wanna know every idea of who they're going after for that chair.
We're precarious enough in the ratings.
Okay.
I understand.
Well, you better, 'cause this is all your fault.
You are the EP.
The show is slipping on your watch.
And now that shit.
You know I don't control everything, Alex.
Well, you're supposed to.
That's your job.
[REPORTERS SHOUTING.]
All right, hot soup coming through.
Hot soup coming through.
[ALL SHOUTING.]
I just wanna say this.
As long as I am the president of the UBA news division, behavior such as that exhibited by Mitch Kessler will not be tolerated.
Out of respect for those who have suffered, I'll be making no further comment at this time.
Let's get PR back on the phone.
I need to know how our response is landing.
I need writers and producers, just all senior staff in my office with ideas for how the fuck we're gonna get through these next two days.
The bosses are saying Jesus, Joel.
Pick a side.
I'm on your side.
Of the fucking hallway.
Jesus.
Okay.
They're saying they want this week to land somewhere between repudiation and navel-gazing, whatever the fuck that means.
I have no idea what they're I'll be back A.
S.
A.
P.
Can you survive without me? Yes.
Text me as soon as you know.
- Where was I? - Repudiation and navel-gazing.
Data and Research.
What the fuck? Why aren't they calling us back? Okay.
We need that huddle.
We need it right now.
And lastly, just get the entire talent team up here, okay? We need to start preparing our long-term strategy.
You're getting all this, right? Oh, I'm sorry.
I wasn't listening.
Oh, you know what? That is not funny.
Fuck you and f Cory.
Uh, hey.
Is, uh, now a good time? I wasn't expecting you till Yes.
Yeah.
Well, you know.
When the Exxon Valdez hits the reef and spills ten million gallons of your oil into the water, you kinda drop whatever you're doing and fly to Alaska.
Of course you do.
Yeah.
And if I might exhaust the metaphor, you don't leave until you make sure that every last salmon and sea otter is scraped clean.
So, we're gonna clean some fuckin' sea otters, Chip, right? And we're not gonna like it, and neither are the otters.
But I'm gonna be with you, side by side, until we get it all done.
No matter how long or how much soap it takes.
- Well, I'm excited.
- [CHUCKLES.]
Makes two of us.
Let's go.
Miles to go before we sleep.
I've already called marketing, and they're on their way down right now.
[WOMAN.]
We know you already discussed this with the network PR team, but they're worried about the network.
- [ALEX SIGHS.]
- We wanna focus on you.
How will America see Alex Levy deal with the fall of Mitch Kessler? Oh, God.
People are gonna wanna know what you did or did not know.
Okay, we're gonna work on your follow-up statement in a minute.
Your first one was a little too sympathetic towards Mitch.
- I'm so - I know you were close, - but you need to be careful.
- Excuse me.
Excuse me.
All I said was that I will miss the person that I sat side by side with.
That's just the truth.
I expressed sympathy for the women, abhorrence for the predatory behavior.
I am a journalist.
You don't have to spoon-feed me this shit.
This isn't just about protection.
It's about opportunity.
You know that.
Yes, I know that.
We're in the middle of a tough renegotiation.
This can be good for us.
I know, I know.
I know that, okay.
Okay.
So, we're gonna hand out the decks we made, and we will walk through the five-tier response we are going to accomplish over the next few days.
In particular at the big event in two nights.
This is the worst timing ever.
Alex.
Please excuse me.
- [CHATTERING.]
- [ALEX SIGHS.]
Oh.
Hi.
Oh.
I'm so happy to see this face.
Oh, my God.
What an awesome surprise.
Hi, honey.
Oh, you didn't have to leave school to come and see me.
Oh, actually, my class came into town for the day to see a play.
Oh, that's okay.
But, Mom, I'm so sorry.
I can't believe it.
I mean, maybe I just don't want to, but, like - I know.
- I've known him since I was conscious.
I know.
It's awful - Yeah.
- and I'm so sorry.
Oh, God.
Honey, can't you skip the play and just stay home with me and we can cuddle and we can make snacks and watch The British Cooking Show? Oh, just anything to make me feel happy.
[MAN.]
Hey.
- Oh, hi.
- Hey.
- Hi, Dad.
- Hey, honey.
How are you? This big news, I'm I'm really sorry.
I was texting you all day.
I know.
I'm sorry.
It's just the worst day of my entire life.
So exhausted, and I still have these people in there.
Al, Al.
Why don't I just I can stay.
I could I mean, I was gonna take Lizzy and her friends for dinner before the show, but No.
No, no, no.
You guys go.
I mean, I'm here all night, and then I have to go to bed, get up at 3:30 again and again.
It's good.
Go, live your lives.
Looks good, you know? Okay.
But text me before you go to bed.
- I will.
- And I'll be back on Friday for the event.
Yes.
Ugh! Yeah? It's all right.
We're gonna get through it.
- Yes.
- I love you.
[ALEX.]
I love you so much.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Have fun.
Good night.
[SIGHS.]
- Hey.
- Yeah.
No, I can't.
Okay.
Go, Jase.
Bye, Al.
Thanks.
[EXHALES.]
[GRUNTS, SNIFFLES.]
[SOBS.]
[COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYING.]
[MUSIC CONTINUES.]
Hey, honey.
What a nice surprise.
Just in time for dinner.
- [SWITCH CLICKS.]
- [MUSIC STOPS.]
Mom, Hal is an addict.
He is bipolar, and he's an addict.
Jesus, Bradley.
Have to be so dramatic about everything? Just come sit down.
We're having dinner.
Hal, turn the music back on.
Hal.
You gotta listen to me this time, Mom.
Are you just upset about that viral video of you yelling at that boy? I don't care about the video.
And he wasn't a boy.
Do not derail the conversation.
Hal is an addict, and he needs help.
He's not an addict.
He just went through a rough spot.
Mom, he is an addict.
Hey, look, I'm I am an addict, Mom.
- I liked your video.
- Thank you.
But he's better now.
He wasn't even there for two weeks.
You just had him come home 'cause you didn't wanna be alone.
- That is not true.
- It's a little true, Mom.
Do you know the mountains I had to move to get him into that place? Not to mention the amount of money I spent.
- Can we just please have a - Hey, Brad, Brad.
I'm gonna pay you back.
- I'll pay you back.
- I don't need you to pay me back.
I need you to be better.
I need you to be safe.
Do you have any idea how many decisions I have made in my life - just because I had to take care of you? - [MOM.]
Bradley, stop it.
How many relationships I've lost? How many jobs I've lost? - I'm sorry - You are ruining dinner! [DOORBELL RINGS.]
Jesus.
I'll get it.
Just every time.
- Yeah? - Bradley Jackson.
I've found you.
What? Can I help you? Hannah Shoenfeld.
Head booker for The Morning Show.
You know you have over a million views on your video? What can I do for you? We wanna interview you about why the video is going viral.
It's clearly touched a nerve.
We'd like to book you for tomorrow.
I've got us on a plane 90 minutes from now.
We should get going.
Wait.
The Morning Show? The one with Alex Levy and Mitch Ke That show with Alex Levy? The Morning Show? Mm-hmm.
Yeah.
Alex will interview you.
What? Just because I lost my shit at a protest? Your words spoke to America.
Oh, no.
I don't Bradley, some piece of you that is really you came through in that video.
People are noticing.
They want more.
How the hell did you find me out here at my mom's house? We're The Morning Show.
We can do anything.
[MAN.]
I do everything right.
Everything they've asked me to do in the last three years.
They just don't know what to do with me.
And they're making us see this popcorn shit? Fucking Gilmore Girls, The Musical? - Is the world so bereft of new ideas - Don't act like you didn't know what The Twist was gonna be.
I was in that meeting too.
- You didn't have a gun to your head.
- Why did I get a Master's in Journalism? What's the point of having a PhD in Political Science? Is this what Gabe comes home to every night? Why did they hire me if they're not gonna give me a shot at the chair? - Jesus.
My feed is wall-to-wall Mitch.
- God forbid there's a serious black anchor on The Morning Show.
Not for the Norman Rockwell family of morning news.
Tokenism at its finest.
You are closer now to the job - than you were 24 hours ago.
- They're making me jump through hoops watching the fucking Gilmore Girls sing about how tough upper-middle class life in Connecticut is while a bunch of idiot white dudes eat expensive food on the network's dime to discuss how to overlook me.
Yeah.
And what the hell kinda name is Lorelai anyway? So this is sort of getting you up to speed.
Now, obviously, the hunt for a replacement for Alex is on the back burner, given the circumstances.
Other fish to imminently fry.
Exactly.
But I wanted you to have the lay of the land here - just so you know where we're at.
- Thank you.
Who knows, maybe this whole thing will revitalize Alex.
- I mean, today pretty fucking great.
- Yeah.
When she does that, you know, she, like, reaches her arm down that camera and, like, connects with America, and that's when she's brilliant.
Agreed.
It's just that she's been "brilliant-light" the last five years.
And it's shown in the ratings.
And I don't know, man.
Maybe she's bored or complacent with success.
Who cares, really.
And now, two of them.
We get to find the new marriage for America to fall in love with.
- It's kind of exciting.
- Glad you're excited.
We have to get well ahead of YDA.
We can't stand a blow to the news division.
Broadcast networks can't stand a blow to anything right now.
[CHUCKLES.]
- Yeah.
- It's kinda funny how the entire world of broadcast could just fall off a cliff in a few years.
Like, boom.
Bang.
Lights out.
Unless we reinvent it.
We're all gonna get bought out by tech unless something changes.
I don't know.
Tech or not, there will always be a need for reliable, quality journalism.
People get their horrible news delivered to the palm of their hand 24/7, and they get it the way that they like it, colored the way they want it.
And news is awful, but humanity is addicted to it, and the whole world is depressed by it.
That's why what we really need on television right now, it's not news or fucking journalism.
It's entertainment.
This is just like during the Depression, when people wanted to watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance on expensive sets and live in a dream world.
Dream worlds are essential.
Depressed people, they need escape, you know? How long do you think the network rode the sexual chemistry between Alex and Mitch? I mean, sure, people wanted them to be Mom and Dad, but people also like to be titillated, and there is some unspoken sexual fantasy to cohosts, right? I get it.
I get it.
Alex is like Mitch's widow now.
She can't provide that, and I know you love her and she is your gal, but, you know, nobody wants to watch a widow get fucked.
[LAUGHS.]
Yeah.
Um Yeah, it's a cold world.
- Well, it's just the world it is.
- Mm.
[CLICKS TONGUE.]
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Good.
Okay.
Thanks.
Oh, my God.
[MALE ANCHOR.]
Kessler and his partner, Alex Levy, had cohosted the show for 15 years.
The two were such a celebrated institution that journalists nationwide are left clueless as to who could replace the dad of morning TV.
[SIGHS.]
["YOUNG AT HEART" PLAYING.]
Fuck you, New York.
[SIGHS.]
Come on.
[NO AUDIBLE DIALOGUE.]
[CLATTERS ON NIGHTSTAND.]
Ohh.
[NO AUDIBLE DIALOGUE.]
[SIGHS.]
Can you please bring the car around? [MAN.]
Yes, ma'am.
I'm gonna go in early.
- [SONG FADES OUT.]
- [CHATTERING.]
[SOBS.]
[SNIFFLING.]
[EXHALES.]
Oh.
[PANTING.]
[SIGHS.]
[SNIFFLES, WHIMPERS.]
[SIGHS, SOBS.]
[SIGHS, SOBS.]
[SOBBING.]
Oh, God.
[SNIFFLES.]
Oh.
[PANTING.]
[WOMAN.]
So, it's great to have you here.
Oh, and, by the way, I'm Mia Jordan, I'm gonna be your segment producer.
Bradley.
Nice to meet you.
Oh, you want a You hungry? Did you eat? No.
I'm okay.
I look forward to you whispering in my ear to stop fucking up.
[LAUGHS.]
You're a pro.
I have no worries.
Uh, by the way, have you been to The Morning Show studio before? No, but I've been in the business about 15 years, so - Oh, wow.
- It's kinda familiar.
- Anna, this is Bradley.
Bradley, Anna.
- Hi there.
Nice to meet you.
You know, all studios are pretty much the same.
Huge adrenaline, incredible intelligence, desperate ambition, huge egos.
[BRADLEY.]
round and around, 'cause all they wanna do is hear Guys, please, stop it.
Give me a second, please, guys.
I just wanna watch this.
And there's a human cost! And it's exhausting! I'm exhausted! Yeah.
Uh, there is no way that she did not know she was being filmed.
- It's really hard to say.
- Is it? It doesn't matter.
That's not the story.
Two million likes and counting.
That's the story.
Real or not, it struck a nerve.
People wanna believe it's true.
Yeah.
Well, people are idiots.
Am I right? That's all we've been proving lately.
Okay, Alex, I know this has all been very hard for you.
What is that supposed to mean? What? Do I look tired? No.
No.
You look great.
I'm just saying you don't have to - Do I look tired? - No.
Promise.
No, you don't look tired.
Just get through today.
Just do a pleasant little interview that will make America happy, okay? I'm worried about you.
Just get through these next few days.
[PATS LEG.]
Can I have my celery juice, please? Of course.
- [DOOR OPENS.]
- [SIGHS.]
[DOOR CLOSES.]
Oh! God, it pisses me off.
Oh, fuck.
[SCREAMS.]
Okay.
Oh.
I didn't buy a word of it.
Not one word of it.
[SIGHS.]
[EXHALES.]
Okay.
Oh.
[CHATTERING.]
- Ready? - Yeah.
I'm ready.
Okay.
Great.
We're gonna have you sit right here.
Okay.
Thanks.
[WOMAN.]
Back in 30, everybody.
Okay.
- Hey.
- Hi.
- I'm so sorry.
- [WOMAN.]
Back in 20.
What about? Just yesterday.
That must have been so difficult for you.
- 'Cause you worked together for so long.
- I'm fine.
[WOMAN.]
Okay.
- In five, four, three - Over here? [DIRECTOR.]
Start your move.
Cue her.
An unusual thing happened yesterday at a coal mine protest in Hanover, West Virginia, when a local reporter's camera operator was knocked over by an unruly protester.
Let's watch.
Thousands of families knocked on their asses.
It's a big wheel that goes around.
Liberals add sanctions.
Conservatives remove those sanctions.
And they just keep fighting.
And they just keep going around and around and around.
'Cause all they wanna do is hear themselves talk.
And they all want to be right.
And they all wanna win.
And that's all they care about.
And there's a human cost! And it's exhausting! I'm exhausted! [MAN.]
Jesus.
Okay, okay, okay.
[CHUCKLES.]
I am here with Bradley Jackson from SENN in Virginia.
Hello, Bradley Jackson.
Welcome.
Hi.
Thank you so much for having me.
You seem a lot more relaxed today.
Yeah, well, this is a whole lot nicer than a coal mine protest.
I'm not gonna lie.
Well, so, what did happen that day? Why exactly were you so exhausted? Well, you know, life in general is just sort of exhausting.
Mm.
Um but, as you know, we reporters, we see the way the world works, and sometimes you just want to get in there and educate people and stop them from constantly going in circles with their ideas.
I mean, it's just so frustrating.
It's sad.
So true.
So true.
As reporters, we are trained to never let our personal emotions enter the story.
What happened yesterday that made you cross that line? Well, I wasn't even aware that I was being filmed.
I was setting up for my story, and my cameraman was knocked down by someone, and something about seeing him struggling on the ground made me want to address the person responsible, so I did.
Mm.
You know a peculiar amount about coal.
Alex, be nice.
Well, yes, I do.
I do.
I've actually covered a lot of coal mine protests, and I think it's important to know as much about the subject as possible, especially when people are literally fighting each other over it.
Yes, well, America has clearly connected to that message.
Why do you think that is? You know, I think America is tired of Twitter fighting.
It's ignorant, and it's contributing to the dumbing down of our country.
Parties have created a good side and a bad side for their own purposes.
And once you villainize someone, there is nothing left but go to war with them.
I know that you work at a conservative news outlet.
What side of that argument do you personally fall on? Um, the human side.
What does that mean? It means I see both sides.
But in leadership, decisions have to be made.
You can't just have empathy for everybody and do nothing.
[DIRECTOR.]
Take it two.
Well, say you're president.
What do you do? - Well - Open or close the coal mine? I'm just here to deliver the news to America.
That's all I ever wanted to do.
So you're a die-hard reporter.
I like to think that I am, yes.
The truth matters to me.
What would you say to the idea that it's a reporter's sacred creed to never let the story become about them? Jesus.
Alex.
What are you doing? Stop it.
I would say I agree with that.
And yet this has become about you.
Ah, shit.
As I said before, I didn't know I was being filmed.
This wasn't part of my live coverage.
Well, there could be some cynical people who might think that that was completely set up.
To what end? You're here.
Well, there are some non-cynical people, which I believe is most people, that believe the news is changing.
And the news is changing because the people who deliver the news, who showed themselves as honest and decent and trustworthy, have in quite a few cases now proved themselves to be untruthful.
And as a result, I think people are wanting more transparency in journalism.
I think they want to know the person behind the facade.
I think they want to trust that the person telling them the truth about the world is an honest person.
Like you.
Yes.
Well, the truth is what we are all striving for.
Yeah.
It is.
Thank you, Bradley Jackson, for being with us today.
- Thank you so much.
- Of course.
We will be right back with a surprise secret about vitamin D.
- [WOMAN.]
And we're out.
- [DIRECTOR.]
Stand by to break.
[WOMAN.]
We're clear.
Back in two minutes.
- [SIGHS.]
- [BRADLEY CHUCKLES.]
- You're good.
- Thank you.
Good luck in Ham-Hock, Virginia.
Oh, there.
Thank you.
Okay.
- It was great.
- Yeah? - Yeah.
- Okay.
- You were awesome.
- Thanks.
All right.
Thank you.
[MAN.]
Nice work.
Bye.
Yeah? All right.
[THUNDER RUMBLING.]
Fucking vultures.
[SIGHS.]
[DOG BARKING.]
[BARKS.]
[BARKING.]
[BARKING.]
- [THUDDING.]
- Holy shit.
[CLANGING.]
Whosever in here, get out before I blow your head off.
[ALEX.]
Oh, fuck off, Mitch.
It's me.
- Oh.
- [DOG WHIMPERING.]
- [ALEX.]
Shit.
[SIGHS.]
- [DOG WHIMPERS.]
Alex? I can't be seen by anybody, so I had my car drop me in the woods behind your house.
- You came to see me.
- No.
I came to tell you that I am so mad at you, and I will never, ever get over it.
You left me.
Alone on the fucking Morning Show.
You left me alone.
[MITCH SIGHS.]
Because you had to fuck around on Paige because you didn't want to tarnish your little image and just get a divorce.
Hello, pot.
I'd like to introduce you to kettle.
How can you be mad at me about that? Are you kidding me? You're so stupid.
- You think I'm mad at you because - Oh, Jesus, beat me up.
Beat me up.
You really think that that's what I'm mad about? You idiot.
I'm mad at you because you're selfish.
You're a self-indulgent asshole.
And your philandering has fucked me.
And I'm gonna lose everything, Mitch.
There's no guarantees.
Zero.
Our star was built on chemistry, and you just blew it up.
And why? Why did you do that? There had to have been a million and one women out there who would've gladly sucked your dick who didn't work on The Morning Show.
- It's not my fault.
- Oh, please.
- They were consensual affairs, Alex.
- Mitch, you're such a fucking moron.
I think that you're jealous because of our history.
- Your fucking ego.
Oh, my God, Mitch.
- 'Cause we had a thing.
That fucking ego of yours.
You really think that because of the two times you got on top of me meant that much to me that that's what I'm pissed about? You're so stupid.
God.
Oh.
[SIGHS.]
[THUNDER RUMBLING.]
[SIGHS.]
You stole my life with this.
You left me in the woods with a pack of wolves.
I live a really strange existence, Mitch, and it's isolated as shit.
I gave up everything for this show.
Any chance of having a normal life.
And you just put me in a position of losing it.
Everything.
Of having nothing.
Of having no one.
You're my partner.
Fifteen years my partner.
And my only real companion, who knew my life in such vivid detail.
Because you're It's your life too.
I'm so sorry.
We lived a life that we're never gonna get back.
And you're not my husband, and you're not my lover, and you're not my family, and now you can't be my friend.
Why can't I be? Because what you did was wrong! Alex, you knew these people.
You know that I didn't coerce anybody.
This is Weinstein's fault.
Please don't say that.
It's so ignorant.
Jesus, Alex.
I didn't do anything wrong.
I didn't.
What happened to your TV? We had a disagreement.
I'm sorry you're such an asshole.
Me too.
I wouldn't use those two words together if I were you.
[CHUCKLES.]
I have to go.
I have to leave.
No, don't.
I don't want you to go.
I have to go.
- No, don't go.
I want you to stay, please.
- I have to go.
No.
I don't wanna be alone.
Just stay for a little while.
Alex, please, come on.
This could blow over.
- Oh, this is so never gonna blow over.
- Alex.
Alex, they were going to replace you! - What? - [SIGHS.]
[SIGHS.]
They came to me.
They said YDA was nipping at our heels in the ratings.
And they wanted to make a change.
I don't believe you.
You're just trying to fuck with my head because you're destroyed and you want me destroyed.
- No, no.
I wanna save you.
- Oh.
- Alex, don't go.
- I don't believe you! Just stay! I've got a gun! Great! Have fun with that! [PHONE VIBRATING.]
Bradley Jackson here.
This is Cory Ellison.
I'm the president of the UBA network.
I saw you on The Morning Show.
How would you like to come meet me for a drink at the Archer Gray right now and talk about your future? "My future"? [CHUCKLES.]
What is this, my big break? Well, I suppose, that's up to you.