Nearly eight years after he left his iconic role on NBC’s The Office, actor Steve Carell is finally returning to television. In a testament to just how significantly the TV landscape has changed since Carell bid farewell to the classic sitcom, the actor has signed on for a lead role in an untitled drama series from Apple, which is expected to launch via the company sometime next year. This particular series revolves around the goings-on at a morning show and has been in the works for some time with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon starring and executive producing.
The drama series aims to offer an inside look “at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning” and is based on Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV. Per THR, Carell will play a character named Mitch Kessler, a morning show anchor who is struggling to maintain relevance in a changing media landscape. Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights, Bates Motel) is the showrunner and Mimi Leder (The Leftovers) directs.
Apple has already given a two-season, 20-episode order to the untitled series, which is Apple’s most high-profile original series currently in the works. Apple has been announcing a bevy of original content—mostly TV—that it plans to release sometime in 2019 or 2020, but the company has yet to confirm exactly how people will be able to watch it.
Recently details have started to leak out, and it’s reported that all of Apple’s original content will be available to watch for free by anyone with an Apple device that has the Apple TV app. This hasn’t been confirmed, but it makes sense given that we’ve also heard that Apple is focused on making PG-rated content, given that it’ll pop up for free on all Apple devices.
This is mighty exciting news for fans of Carell, who delivered one of the best performances in television history on The Office. Since that time he’s delved into more dramatic work on the big screen to great success in films like Foxcatcher and this year’s Beautiful Boy, and he also has his turn as Donald Rumsfeld in Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney film Vice and the lead in Robert Zemeckis’ unique drama Welcome to Marwen on tap for 2018.