The morning show drama of 2011 — the Matt Lauer/Ann Curry misfire on “Today” and “Good Morning America’s” rise to No. 1 — already made a good story, having been the subject of former New York Times reporter Brian Stelter’s book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.” Now, it’s about to become a sure-to-be melodramatic TV movie thanks to Lifetime.
Deadline reports the network has optioned the book for a telefilm, which will be produced by Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto of “The Hills” fame. A director and writer have yet to be named, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start the dream casting process.
Here, a few humble suggestions from the Zap2it team, because our first choice — of each anchor playing themselves — probably won’t work out (but it would be amazing).
First, the most important figure in this whole story: Lauer. Here is our easy, obvious choice, someone who’s done Lifetime movies before, is the right age, and will do an excellent job: Rob Lowe. It’s so obvious, right?
Second: Curry. Since we’re still devastated from the news that Ann and Chris are moving out of Pawnee on “Parks and Recreation,” we’d humbly propose that Rashida Jones play Curry. We already miss her, that beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby.
To round out the team — and to carry on this whole “Parks and Rec” thing, we’ll suggest the super-tall Lucy Lawless as the also super-tall Savannah Guthrie; Jay Jackson, aka Perd Hapley, as weatherman Al Roker; Mo Collins, “Pawnee Today” host Joan Callamezzo, as Kathie Lee; and Retta as Hoda, because she will be delightfully annoyed at Kathie Lee’s BS. The actress Natalie Morales, who once played Tom’s girlfriend on “Parks,” should play the reporter Natalie Morales, because of course she should.
Nick Offerman can be “Today” producer Jim Bell, who in the book’s telling was the man behind Curry’s ouster.
On the “GMA” side of things, let’s go with Adam Scott as George Stephanopoulos and cast the net outside Pawnee for Robin Roberts, who should be played by Kerry Washington because she’s so delightfully likable and the “Parks” cast is clearly down with the idea of a “Scandal” crossover. Chris Pratt can be Josh Elliott. The likeness isn’t quite there, but he cleans up nice. Amy Poehler can play Lara Spencer, Aziz Ansari can play a slightly goofier version of weatherman Sam Champion and Aubrey Plaza can take on Amy Robach.
What do you think of our suggestions? Who would you choose for each role?