NOC Interview: Karen Pittman Discusses the New Season of ‘The Morning Show’

Karen Pittman stars as Mia Jordan in the acclaimed and award-winning Apple Original drama The Morning Show. Season two is a total of ten episodes and premiered Friday, September 17 on Apple TV+ with the first episode. New episodes are released weekly, every Friday.

Picking up after the explosive events of season one, season two finds The Morning Show team emerging from the wreckage of Alex (Aniston) and Bradley’s (Witherspoon) actions, to a new UBA and a world in flux, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.

I had the pleasure of getting to speak with the actress about returning for a second season, telling the important stories, what’s next for Mia, what’s she’s learned from the character, and much more. Keep reading to find out everything we discussed!

Apple TV+

Hi, Karen! I’m Sophia Soto with The Nerds of Color and it’s such an honor to speak with you today. I absolutely love your work.
Karen Pittman: Hi, Sophia! So glad to be on with The Nerds of Color. I consider myself to be a nerd of color, so this is great. I’m coming back home, I’m right with family. This is great.

First off, I just want to ask how you felt about returning for a second season and what were you most excited for?
I said this a lot, but I think I felt excited about it because all of what 2020 held for us here in the states. I mean, we went through the pandemic but also we had this sort of social and racial reckoning in our country and I definitely see my acting as activism. But towards the end of 2020, I really felt like it was important for me to find a way to conjugate my experience into my work and so, when I came back to The Morning Show it was important for me to link arms with my collaborators, my colleagues, my allies, my advocates on the show to try to tell a bigger and better story as it relates to gender and race politics in the workplace. So that was part of what it was like for me to come back to The Morning Show season two.

How did you feel being supported in that way and to really do something that powerful with your work? To do a role that might change opinions, inspire viewers, and give some important representation, what does that mean to you?
You know, I just feel super fortunate, Sophia. I really try very hard as an actor to work in diverse and inclusive environments. The collaborative effort is a challenge, no matter what set you step on but to have people who are interested in your opinion, to influence the storytelling is an extraordinary gift of having been on the show. Reese, Jennifer, Kerry, and Mimi are interested in what things are interesting to me, what topics and issues are interesting to me and my perspective on it. So, in a career where I have primarily focused on telling stories with people from diverse backgrounds, this has been really sort of a jewel experience for me, a mountaintop experience, it has been really transformative in my work and career.

Apple TV+

The season one finale had an explosive ending, can you give me a preview of what fans can expect from the new season?
Sure I can. At the top of season two, after having worked very hard as a producer on The Morning Show, our audience will find that Mia Jordan has been promoted to the executive producer job. I talked a lot with their producers and writers about what that looked like, she is now hitting up against that glass ceiling as the first African American female producer of the show, but she’s also sort of standing on what they termed as a glass cliff, right? Because she’s been given The Morning Show at a time where it’s an extraordinary transition and fallen in the ratings. So she has a Herculean task of trying to make it work and you see over ten episodes of her trying to navigate through all of the personalities, challenges, and difficulties of transitioning a news organization at a time like that through race politics and gender politics. It’s sort of an extraordinary ride. I hope that it will be thrilling to our audience.

What have you personally learned from playing Mia?
Yeah, I think you do borrow things from your character, right? You let your character borrow things from you. I think what I borrowed from Mia is her extraordinary vulnerability. I mean, the audience gets to see her at moments where she is affected, touched, moved, and emotional but at The Morning Show her colleagues see a very different version of her and I think that resonates for women, I know that resonates for women of color and for nerds of color, right? It resonates for all of us in a different way and so, what I have taken from Mia is the importance of being vulnerable and open in spite of winds of adversity and hostility.

Apple TV+

Fans love seeing new dynamics on their screen, whether that’s a friendship or a relationship. Which dynamic are you most excited for the fans to see this season?
I’m excited about our audience seeing the relationship between Daniel Henderson and Mia Jordan this season because it’s this idea that all skin folk aren’t kikinfolknfolk, right? So we all see race and racism in very different ways. I mean, African Americans are not a monolith, right? We try in different ways to explore it and examine it. I think that that’s part of the nuanced conversation that The Morning Show has. So I’m also interested in them seeing what happens between Chip and Mia as well as what happens with Stella Bak, how they translate their experience of being empowered women, through the lens of being a Korean American woman and being an African American woman. So I think there’s lots of fertile ground for people to tap into.

How are you feeling about putting your work on season two out there?
I’m celebrating, I’m grateful but I’m also aware of what an extraordinary effort it was on the part of our cast, crew, producers, and writers to tell a story in the middle of our global pandemic. I mean, it blows my mind that we made such an extraordinary effort to tell a story to our audiences and I think we could have punted a little bit, but we decided to go ahead and move in the direction of telling a bold and daring story. So I’m feeling weirdly emotional, just really moved and touched that all of us are out here, sharing our experiences, and hoping that our audiences will come back and watch what we did.

Karen, thank you again for taking the time to speak with me today. It was so lovely!
Thank you, Sophia. Happy day, have a good day, and hi to all my nerds out there! See you soon.