Top of the Morning (book)

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Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV
Top of the Morning (book).jpg
First edition
AuthorBrian Stelter
CountryUnited States
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
Publication date
April 23, 2013
Media typePrint (Hardcover and paperback) EBOOK
Pages320 pages

Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV is a 2013 non-fiction book by the American journalist Brian Stelter.[1] The book was first published on April 23, 2013, through Grand Central Publishing and centers on the world of morning television.[2][3] A lengthy excerpt appeared in The New York Times Magazine in the week before publication.[4]


In Top of the Morning Stelter discusses several daytime television shows, their hosts, and events that he oversaw while working as a media reporter for The New York Times. The book focuses heavily on Ann Curry's replacing Meredith Vieira on the Today show,[5] as well as covering other events such as the rivalry between Good Morning America and the Today Show over morning television ratings.[6]


Critical reception for Top of the Morning has been mixed to negative.[7][8][9] The Washington Times gave a mostly positive review for the book, while Entertainment Weekly gave a mixed one.[10] Entertainment Weekly stated while the book's quality improved as it progressed, the book was unlikable, and some elements - such as Robin Roberts' cancer - "has been documented better elsewhere".[11] The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Hollywood Reporter both panned the book, with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette criticizing it as reading "more like a dispatch from someone working at TMZ than a New York Times reporter".[12][13]

Television adaptation[edit]

On December 17, 2013, the Lifetime television network announced it was adapting the book into a two-hour television film,[14][15] but by 2016 the cable network's option on the project had lapsed.[16][17]

The book now serves as inspiration for the drama series The Morning Show, which focuses on the life of people working in morning television. The series stars and is executive produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for Apple TV+.[18]


  1. ^ "'Top of The Morning' Author Brian Stelter Talks Morning Show Wars and Future of Social Media". Yahoo News. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  2. ^ "The 14 Wackiest Morning Show Metaphors in Brian Stelter's Top of the Morning". New York Magazine. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Good Times, Bad Times: Brian Stelter Parties On Despite Negative Book Review". New York Observer. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  4. ^ Stelter, Brian (18 April 2013). Kelly, Jon (ed.). "Who Can Save the 'Today' Show?". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2017. A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2013, on Page MM24 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Waking Up On The Wrong Side Of A Rating War.
  5. ^ "Shinan: Extreme social lessons from the world of early morning shows via George Stephanopoulos". National Post. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  6. ^ "NY Times Media Reporter Brian Stelter Scores Morning-TV Book Deal". The Wrap. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Book On Morning-Show Wars Fizzles". McClatchy-Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  8. ^ Bark, Ed (22 April 2013). "Ratings War Zone is a Rough Place to Start the Day". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Book Review: 'Top of the Morning': All the News That's Fit to Print (Or is It?)". Variety. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  10. ^ "BOOK REVIEW: 'Top of the Morning'". Washington Times. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  11. ^ "'Top of the Morning' by Brian Stelter: Read EW's review of the buzzed-about morning show expose". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  12. ^ Owen, Rob (22 May 2013). "Book Review: 'Top of the Morning' Certainly Not an Eye-opener". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  13. ^ Lewis, Andy (23 April 2013). "Top of the Morning: Book Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  14. ^ Brian Stelter's 'Top of the Morning' to be Adapted as TV Movie
  15. ^ Marechal, AJ (17 December 2013). "Lifetime Adapting Brian Stelter's 'Top of the Morning' as Telepic". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2017. Book focuses on rivalry between 'Today' and 'Good Morning America'
  16. ^ Steinberg, Brian (10 May 2016). "Lifetime Scrapped Plans for Morning-News Movie That Put Spotlight on 'Today'". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2017. …the project has been out of development for about a year, leaving in question whether the general public will ever see a ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie with actors playing such key figures as Matt Lauer, Curry, Al Roker and Robin Roberts, or any of the executives who work with them behind the scenes.
  17. ^ Mason, Charlie (10 May 2016). "Today vs. Good Morning America Movie Dead at Lifetime". TVLine. Retrieved 9 July 2017. There remains the possibility that the project could be shopped around and ultimately find another home.
  18. ^ "Apple announces drama series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston". 8 November 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2018.

External links[edit]