‘Morning Show’ Producers Lose $44 Million Suit Over Insurer Withholding COVID Coverage

A judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning the case can’t be refiled

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in "The Morning Show" (AppleTV+)

“The Morning Show” producers have lost a $44 million lawsuit against the Apple TV+ show’s insurance company, which they alleged refused to pay for coverage of losses due to Season 2’s COVID-related production delays. A judge dismissed the suit with prejudice on Thursday, meaning that the case can’t be refiled.

“Because plaintiff has failed to allege any physical loss or damage to property, no benefits were due under the Policy’s Imminent Peril and Ingress and Egress provisions,” U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote, adding, “In sum, the court concludes that under the Policy’s plain terms, defendant was justified in denying benefits.”

“The Morning Show” executive producer Michael Ellenberg filed the lawsuit against the Apple drama’s insurance company, Chubb National Insurance, on behalf of his banner Media Res, the production company behind the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon-led series, back in July of last year. Always Smiling Productions, Ellenberg and Media Res’ LLC, claimed in the suit that it had secured $125 million in cast coverage from Chubb, plus more for imminent peril to their shooting location. The company said Chubb refused to pay the coverage it owes the production company — which, according to the lawsuit, is $44 million — over the production delays it faced in Season 2 due to the pandemic.

Per the suit, Chubb agreed to pay $1 million in losses per the company’s Civil Authority or Military provision. But Chubb said other parts of the COVID-related delay were not covered, as they didn’t fall under “death, injury, sickness, kidnap, or compulsion by physical force or threat of physical force.”

The Apple Original series picks up in the aftermath of the wreckage of Alex (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley’s (Reese 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.” The news drama featured Season 2 stars Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin and Marcia Gay Harden. Season 3 will also feature new cast additions Tig Notaro, Jon Hamm, Nicole Beharie and return of Season 2 actress Julianna Margulies.

The Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed Apple TV+ show is executive produced by Aniston, Witherspoon, Mimi Leder (who also directs), Kristin Hahn, Lauren Neustadter and Ellenberg. Currently in production for Season 3, the series is a Media Res, Hello Sunshine and Echo Films production. “The Morning Show” Season 3 will be showrun and executive produced by Charlotte Stoudt (“Fosse/Verdon,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards”), who has a multi-year overall deal with Apple TV+ for scripted television series.