Mimi Leder has boarded Apple’s untitled morning show drama series as executive producer and director. The Emmy winner is rounding out an all-female core creative team on the Media Res-produced series, which includes executive producers and stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and writer, executive producer and showrunner Kerry Ehrin.
Based on an original idea by Media Res’ Michael Ellenberg, the yet untitled series provides an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning, exploring the unique challenges faced by the women (and men) who carry out this daily televised ritual.
Ehrin and Leder executive produce alongside Aniston through her Echo Films banner; Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter through Hello Sunshine; and Ellenberg through Media Res. Brian Stelter consults on the project, with his book Top of the Morning providing additional background material.
Leder has long been a flag-bearer for female directors. For 22 years, until last fall, she was the last woman to win an Emmy Award for directing in a drama series, which she did in 1995 for ER. Leder has landed the most Emmy nominations for a female director in the category, five, and is one of only three to win it, alongside Karen Arthur for Cagney & Lacey in 1985 and Reed Morano for The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017.
On the feature side, Leder was one of the first female directors to be given the reins of a big-budget summer blockbuster with the 1998 Deep Impact, which at the time became the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman.
Leder is currently in post-production on the feature On the Basis of Sex, which will be released in December from Participant Media and Focus Features. Her series directing credits also include The Leftovers, on which she also served as executive producer, and Shameless. Leder is repped by CAA, Fourward, and attorney Barry Littman.