The morning show wars may soon be heading to Lifetime. The cable network is looking at adapting Top of the Morning, based on the book of the same name by former New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, into a two-hour TV movie.
The book follows the cutthroat world of morning TV, where ABC's Good Morning Americahas recently surged while NBC's Today has stumbles in the wake of several missteps — in particular, the messy departure of co-anchor Ann Curry. Also likely to be addressed: GMA anchor Robin Roberts' battle with cancer and triumphant return to the show.
Top of the Morning is still in the early stages of development, as a writer has not yet been hired to adapt the book. Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley are executive producing the movie through their DiGa Vision production company.
Stelter recently left the New York Times for CNN, where he's the new host of Reliable Sources and serves as a regular on-air contributor. The path of Top of the Morning is reminiscent of how his former New York Times colleague Bill Carter's famous book The Late Shift was turned into an HBO movie, while his book about Monday Night Football, titled Monday Night Mayhem, was adapted as a TNT movie.
It's always a tightrope when reporters who cover the entertainment industry also work on projects with the companies they cover; insiders have suggested that the New York Times has started frowning on such extracurricular activities. But Stelter's move to CNN negates any issue the Times might have had with the Lifetime movie, and it's also unclear how involved Stelter would be with the project, beyond optioning the rights and consulting for DiGa.