12/20/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET
01/02/2014 AT 7:00 AM ET
Morning news is about to become more dramatic than you ever imagined – and you’ll get to watch it all unfold in a new made-for-TV movie.
Lifetime is adapting former New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter s book, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, into a television movie.
The book chronicles the fierce rivalry between two flagship morning news programs: ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today. The story focuses on the intrigue surrounding the 2012 ouster of former Today anchor Ann Curry, who left the show when the NBC stalwart began to lose the ratings race to GMA.
With development underway, we can’t help but imagine who will play Matt Lauer – let alone Kathie Lee Gifford, Sam Champion or Al Roker. Check out our humble suggestions, starting with the Today show team:
Ann Curry: Rashida Jones
Mireya Acierto/Getty;Frederick M. Brown/Getty
Now that Jones is off of Parks and Recreation
, she needs to be back on television – STAT. Plus, as someone who was recently written off of a show, she can probably relate to Curry’s untimely departure from the Today
couch. It would be a juicy role for Jones, because Curry is at the center of the drama in Stelter’s book, which was criticized for depicting Lauer too harshly for his role in Curry’s departure.
Matt Lauer: Bruce Willis
Matt Lauer (left) and Bruce Willis
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP;David Livingston/Getty
While it’s rare for A-list stars like Willis to play roles in Lifetime movies, he may make an exception to the rule to play Lauer, in what was undoubtedly one of the most tumultuous and challenging times of his career. In the aftermath of Curry’s departure and the show’s ratings slip, Lauer, 55, started making plans to jump ship to ABC
last year, when reports surfaced that Ryan Seacrest might possibly replace him on Today
. The ABC offer turned into a negotiating tactic for Lauer, though, who ended up signing a new NBC contract for a reported $25 million.
Al Roker: Kenan Thompson
Robert Pitts /Landov; Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Hub/AP Images
longtime weatherman Al Roker is the jovial heart of the show and deserves an equally genial actor to play him. SNL
star Kenan Thompson could up Roker’s banter and maybe incorporate a few Kenan & Kel catchphrases
into the mix.
Savannah Guthrie: Bellamy Young
Gary Gershoff/WireImage;Taylor Hill/Getty
Even before Ann Curry was ousted
from the show, rumors were swirling that Today’s
legal analyst Savannah Guthrie
would replace her on the anchor couch. That level of intrigue would be nothing for Scandal
star Bellamy Young.
Willie Geist: Carson Daly
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty(2)
newsman Willie Geist joined the Today
show cast as co-host in the wake of Curry’s departure, in the hopes of boosting the show’s sagging ratings. One year later, the ratings are still down, but Geist is no longer the new kid on the couch. In September, Daly joined as the show’s “orange room” anchor/social media reporter. Since Daly fills in for Geist when he’s off, he may as well fill in for him on Lifetime too.
Natalie Morales: Amanda Peet
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP;Brad Barket/Getty
news anchor, Natalie Morales has a certain gravitas along with her quick smile. After seeing Amanda Peet’s work in The Good Wife
, we think she would be a great fit for the part.
Hoda Kotb: Nasim Pedrad
Paul Zimmerman/WireImage; Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
, Nasim Pedrad played Today
host Hoda Kotb as the serious host, opposite Wiig’s boozy version of Kathie Lee. All we want for Christmas is to revive that sketch.
Kathie Lee Gifford: Kristen Wiig
Gregory Pace/BEImages;Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty
When Wiig was on SNL
, she did an incredible version of Kathie Lee complete with a bottle of wine as an IV drip and a nose for news. Of course, that news was co-anchor Hoda’s love life and her “imaginary” boyfriend – but we’re dying to see it again.
Fancasting, Take 2:
Josh Elliott (left) with the GMA team from 2011
ABC/Ida Mae Astute
And now, the Good Morning America
George Stephanopolous: Fred Armisen
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP;Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP
star Fred Armisen has proved again and again that he is capable of doing any accent or impression. We’re confident he would nail political analyst turned GMA
anchor George Stephanopolous.
Robin Roberts: Angela Bassett
Angela Weiss/WireImage;Munawar Hosain/Startraksphoto
We love Robin Roberts
, the GMA
anchor who just battled her way back to the show’s set from a cancer diagnosis. We also love Angela Bassett. End of story.
Sam Champion: Pat Kiernan
Alexander Tamargo/Getty; Admedia/Splash News Online
Why not have one New York news legend play another? GMA
weatherman Sam Champion is loved by all, as is NY 1 news anchor Pat Kiernan. Since we can’t cast Champion as himself, Kiernan is a great stand-in.
Josh Elliott: Jimmy Kimmel
ABC/IDA MAE ASTUTE;Michael Buckner/Getty for Caesars Entertainment
Both Josh Elliott and Jimmy Kimmel share a certain frat boy charm – Elliott started at ESPN and Kimmel was a football prognosticator for Fox NFL Sunday for four years. Plus they have the same haircut. Good enough!
Lara Spencer: Kristen Wiig
ABC/IDA MAE ASTUTE;John Lamparski/WireImage
We are cheating a bit by putting Kristen Wiig on the list twice, but she would also make for an amazing Lara Spencer. Spencer is the lifestyle anchor for Good Morning America
who has a goofy side
that she is often willing to show off. Wiig could take that goofy side and run with it.
Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!