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TV Critic’s Corner

More TV about TV

Reese Witherspoon has signed on to the adaptation of Brian Stelter’s “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.” Nina Prommer/EPA/file

Looks like two books about the TV industry are going to be adapted for TV. According to Deadline.com, Bill Carter’s 2006 nonfiction book “Desperate Networks” is in the early stages of series development. The book, which will be adapted by Carter, is a chronicle of the networks trying to come to terms with all the big changes in entertainment TV from the 1990s and 2000s, from the growing popularity of cable channels and video games to the advent of DVRs and reality TV. Among the book’s big players: Les Moonves, Simon Cowell, Marc Cherry, and Jeff Zucker.

Carter’s 1995 book, “The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night,” was also adapted for TV, as an HBO movie. A former New York Times reporter, Carter is currently a contributor to CNN. By the way, he and TV-analysis guru Robert Thompson appeared on the WBUR radio show “On Point” last week to talk about the state of late-night TV in this time of Trump. The segment is well-worth podcasting.


The other TV industry book on the way to the screen is also written by a former New York Times reporter who’s now at CNN: Brian Stelter, the host of “Reliable Sources.” His 2013 book, “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV,” is getting turned into an hourlong drama series, with Jay Carson of “House of Cards” writing the script. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston have already signed on to the project. Fun fact: Aniston and Witherspoon played sisters in two episodes of “Friends.”