The Morning Show, a series on Apple TV+ starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell and Billy Crudup, is back for its second season. Set in New York City, The Morning Show filming locations are actually both in New York City and Los Angeles, with the City of Angels doubling as the City that Never Sleeps in many locations. This season The Morning Show cast has expanded including Greta Lee (from High Maintenance and Russian Doll) who and Hasan Minhaj, adding some much-welcome diversity (not to mention comedic chops to the cast).
The star sequence of the second season of The Morning Show may be the opening one, where drone footage was taken during the peak of the pandemic showing a very empty New York City. In fact, production on season two of the Morning Show was about to begin when the pandemic broke and the season was rewritten to include the epidemic as a plot line, similar to how the first season was reconfigured when the Harvey Weinstein lawsuits emerged.
In the above sequence, opening on a view of Greenwich Village, beginning with the Washington Square Park and tis famous arch, looking down Fifth Avenue’s Ladies Mile and up to Rockefeller Center and the Saks Fifth Avenue area, continuing up to the Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, with some additional West Side shots with Columbus Circle and the Richard Meier towers along the West Side Highway, and finally empty Times Square and Central Park.
1. UBA Offices
The interiors of the UBA headquarters are filmed in Los Angeles, and in fact, the production doesn’t hide the view outside of the executive office windows, which is very definitely in downtown LA. In the last episode of the first season of The Morning Show, when Bradley Jackson (played by Reese Witherspoon) and Alex Levy (played by Jennifer Aniston) have a blowout moment following a tragic incident, we get a clear picture of where UBA is located in New York City.
The exit of the UBA headquarters is on 52nd Street from the office tower occupied by Merrill Lynch Wealth Advisors, whose address is technically 75 Rockefeller Plaza. Down the street you can see the entrance to the Paley Center for Media. Morning Show posters have been pasted on the storefront windows as part of the set. The two walk to Fifth Avenue, passing the American Girl Store and Alex takes it all out on a fan in front of the Nike store (across from Cartier and Versace, former Vanderbilt mansion sites).
2. Midtown Manhattan
In season one of The Morning Show, the street scenes, often showing characters on the phone talking in crowded sidewalks to other characters, are predominantly shot in New York City. This is apparent from the width of the sidewalks and the avenues, as well as urban details, like bus station signage and more.
In season two, for shooting efficacy in the pandemic, street scenes of New York City are recreated in Los Angeles. You can see this in a scene where Yanko, the weatherman from UBA, meets someone from his past on the street. While the production takes care to add in street furniture that look like, for example, the LinkNYC kiosks, and lots of steam to make it feel like New York City, and do a good job recreating a New York City subway entrance supposedly at 5th Ave/53rd Street including the Helvetica font of the subway signage and gold vintage lettering that has similarities to real subway station entrances in Lower Manhattan, eagle eye New Yorkers will note that there is no subway station entrance that looks like this. There is one for the 5th Ave/53rd Street, about this dimension, just off Madison Avenue on 53rd Street, but it isn’t quite as pretty as the one in the show!
In season one of The Morning Show the character Hannah Shoenfeld (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a victim in a sexual assault by her boss, played by Steve Carrell. Her apartment is shown to be in Soho on Greene Street somewhere between Grand and Broome streets. The street shots with Gugu Mbatha-Raw are indeed filmed in New York City’s Soho with a closeup of the belgian block road (not cobblestone!).
However, when Claire Conway (played by Bel Powley) goes to bring her coffee the next morning, the address of her apartment with the arched entrance (#103) and the “Ciel Clair New York” gallery next door to the apartment are fictional. You can tell this street scene is filmed in Los Angeles because of the presence of old-fashioned street parking meters, which no longer exist in New York City.
4. Times Square
In the first episode of season two of The Morning Show, New Year’s Eve is coming up. Bradley Jackson and her new Morning Show co-host Eric played by Hasan Minhaj, are hosting the event in the middle of Times Square. The production here is impressive, looking like it was filmed on a green screen but accurately reflecting the look and feel of Times Square on New Year’s Eve with sweeping shots of Times Square. There’s even a drone shot that gets close up with the New Year’s Eve ball.
The scene is full of drama, besides the ball drop itself, as Bradley Jackson’s future at UBA is not quite what it seems to her. Cory Ellison, played by Billy Crudup, is doing his usual puppet maneuvering of talent at UBA and trying to keep the network afloat amidst scandal after scandal.
5. The Biltmore Hotel
Cory Ellison only meets people in the most fabulous of places, and most of those places are filmed in Los Angeles (although they are purportedly supposed to be in New York City. In the above scene, Cory meets with New York Times writer Maggie Brenner in The Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Biltmore Hotel is a historic, landmarked hotel with a rich history of celebrities, scandals, and architectural splendor. It opened in 1923 and has a fabulous lobby and bar, both of which have been used in many film productions, along with stunning ballrooms and Roman-bath inspired pool.
6. The Hotel
Nearly everyone on The Morning Show (Cory, Bradley, and Alex) seems to live in the same hotel. The lobby of the building is filmed in One Bunker Hill, formerly the Southern California Edison Building. The Art Deco building in Downtown Los Angeles at 601 W. Fifth Street is certainly not in New York City.
The distinctive two-story lobby features a mural by artist Hugo Ballin entitled “Power” and the shopping corridor was only added in the 1990s. Today, it still functions as an office building, not a condo or hotel.
Stay tuned for more filming locations as the season continues! Watch The Morning Show on Apple TV+. Next, check out the filming locations for Only Murders in the Building.