Despite some early negative reviews from critics, it’s hard to argue that Apple’s fledgling video streaming service has gotten off to a pretty epic start. The Morning Show may have started a bit slow, but it ramped up quickly and ended powerfully, and Apple’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
Even more incredible was that Apple managed to score numerous award nominations for The Morning Show before the series had even ended its debut season — marking the first time any streaming show has gotten nominated in its first year, much less within its first six weeks. This included Golden Globe nominations for both of the female leads, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, as well as for the series itself, along with a Critics Choice Award nomination for Billy Crudup, and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for Crudup, Aniston, and Steve Carell.
While The Morning Show got shut out at the Golden Globes, it was far from the only streaming service to have a poor showing at the event, which seemed to strongly favour productions from the more traditional television networks. However, Billy Crudup did walk away with a 2020 Critics Choice Award last week for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his role as Cory Ellison, and now it seems that Jennifer Aniston has taken home an even bigger accolade, receiving Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
While both Billy Crudup and Steve Carell were also nominated for an award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series — effectively competing against each other — that award ended up going to Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones.
Aniston’s win came as something of a surprise, as many critics expected that it would go to Olivia Colman for The Crown, who beat Aniston and Witherspoon out for the Golden Globe award in the same category, although it was one of the few wins that Apple’s rival Netflix took away at the earlier awards ceremony. Other contenders for the SAG award included Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).
This is not only a big coup for Apple, but also represents the first SAG award that Aniston has received since 1996, when the cast of Friends collectively won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. However, this is the first time Aniston has won a SAG award on an individual basis.
So far The Morning Show is the only series by Apple to have received any nominations, however this shouldn’t seen as a knock against Apple’s other original content, since it’s actually unprecedented for any new streaming production to get this kind of extremely early recognition, and even more significant to score a win after only a single season.
With the wrapping up of the Screen Actors Guild awards last night, it looks like the current awards season is likely over for Apple. The next major awards coming up are the 2020 Academy Awards, however these are focused on feature films, and while Apple certainly hopes to eventually compete in that category as well, it has almost nothing to offer thus far, especially after The Banker missed its AFI Film Festival premiere, and even though it’s now back on track, it came back too late to make the 2020 Oscars. It seems very likely we’ll see Apple’s shows get some more recognition when the 2020 Emmy Award nominations are announced on July 14, however.