Take a look behind the camera of Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” with Executive Producer Kerry Ehrin, who sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Ehrin opens up about shooting “The Morning Show” during the pandemic, rewriting season two to include Covid-19, the complex character of Mitch Kessler, her favorite and least favorite parts about showrunning, and more. Highlights below.
“At Home With The Creative Coalition” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and more.
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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Kerry Ehrin —
On the atmosphere on-set while shooting season two of “The Morning Show” during Covid-19:
“It was insane. It was very much the opposite of a blast. It was really hard, it was hard on everybody. It was particularly hard on the crew and the director and the actors. I wasn’t scared personally, I have a weird fear thing – I get totally scared about nothing and then, like, a pandemic, I’m like, ‘Oh, it’ll be fine.’ But it was actually really moving because we had been separated for so long, we were in the middle of a pandemic, no one knew who it was going to affect, what the outcome would be, it was terrifying. But everyone so wanted to go back to work, and that was really a beautiful thing. I think there was a great sense of camaraderie on the set when we went back. And we had a lot of protocol – if you were on this part you couldn’t go to this part – you know, there was a lot of rules. And everybody just suited up and jumped in, and just gave it their all, and we did it – we f****** filmed a season of very difficult television. During a pandemic!”
On going back and revising “The Morning Show” to incorporate the pandemic:
“Basically, we had a version of Season Two, and then the pandemic happened and quarantine happened. Everyone realized how huge and serious and big this was. And then I got the calls about, ‘We really think we need to incorporate Covid,’ and I resisted it for a few days because, you know, we had just worked out a whole season and I was tired. There was part of me that resisted it creatively because I thought, ‘As a person who is now quarantined in my home, do I really want to watch a show about Covid in a year? Is that going to be something – or am I going to want to get as far away from it as I can?’ I feel like ultimately, though, you couldn’t just not acknowledge it on a show about the news. It’s not like we could just skip over it! So we jumped in, but it was tricky because you’re writing a year ahead of when something’s going to air and you don’t know what the situation is going to be in a year. And we did predict – the first year was told in the future, and this one we decided to tell during the months leading up to the pandemic, because I think something interesting happened in the news, which was that there was so much fascinating news going on that the pandemic kind of got shoved to the back. You know, there were the Democratic debates and the impeachment. They were exciting times for newspeople. I thought that was interesting – we were telling a story about the news, this was something that happened in the news.”
On the importance of understanding nuances of social issues:
“It’s interesting because we very deliberately created the Mitch character so that he wasn’t doing what Bill Cosby or Weinstein was doing, he was doing horrible stuff, but it was on a much more sort of ‘socially accepted’ level, where even he could be kind of blind to it because it wasn’t called out by anyone. Which is not to say it’s defensible, it’s not to say he shouldn’t be accountable – it’s a nuance. And it’s interesting to sometimes see on Twitter, people will tweet like, ‘Mitch Kessler was drugging and raping women!’ And, you know, he actually wasn’t. Everyone’s starting to get lumped together, which I think actually is dangerous and probably not a good thing for society. I mean, I think it’s important to understand details and nuances of various cases. I wanted it to be a piece about society being f***** up, because to me it isn’t as interesting to say, ‘Oh, this person – they’re the reason everything is bad. It’s all their fault.’ Because people f****** contribute to it! You know… I do feel like things are getting better, though. I certainly in my career have seen things improve socially. When I started working, there were no female executives that I could think of. There would be, like, one woman in a writers’ room if you were lucky. And every year it gets better, it gets more inclusive for people of color, for LGBTQ, it just gets better and better. And I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy in entertainment sometimes, and I think I was also addressing that in the show.”
On the best and worst parts of being a showrunner:
“The best thing about it is when you’re in a groove with all your people on the show and you all have this vision – that, you know, came out of your head – that everybody is seeing, that everybody is seeing internally because we’re all creating it at the same time. And being in sync with all these people and living in a creative universe and building – physically building – a fictional world is so f****** cool. It’s just magic, it really is. Conversely, the worst part about showrunning is when people don’t get it, or you have to fight with them. The politics of it. But when everyone is on the same page and you’re all together on it, it’s pretty magical.”
More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Upcoming guests include Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Joe Pantoliano (“The Sopranos,” “The Matrix”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”), and Reid Scott (“Echo”).
Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Evan Handler (“And Just Like That…,” “Californication”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid,” “Shameless”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Younger”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Alena Smith (“Dickinson”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), KT Tunstall (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” “Suddenly I See”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”).
More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. The Creative Coalition harnesses the unique platforms of the arts community and entertainment industry to make positive impacts on social welfare issues. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.