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Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America

Today Show and Good Morning America Rivalry To Be Lifetime TV Movie
Today show anchors
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty

01/02/2014 AT 07:00 AM EST

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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Bruce Willis, Matt Lauer

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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Al Roker, Kenan Thompson

Robert Pitts / Landov; Jordan Strauss / Invision for the Hub / AP Images

Today's 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Savannah Guthrie

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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Carson Daly

Peter Kramer / NBC / NBC NewsWire via Getty(2)

Morning Joe 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Amanda Peet, Natalie Morales

Charles Sykes / Invision / AP; Brad Barket / Getty

As Today 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Hoda Kotb

Paul Zimmerman / WireImage; Evan Agostini / Invision / AP

On SNL, 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, 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:
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, TV Series, TV Shows

Josh Elliott (left) with the GMA team from 2011

ABC / Ida Mae Astute

And now, the Good Morning America crew...

George Stephanopolous: Fred Armisen
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Fred Armisen, George Stephanopoulos

Evan Agostini / Invision / AP; Dan Steinberg / Invision / AP

Portlandia 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, Angela Bassett, Robin Roberts

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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television

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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, 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
Fancasting a Morning News Rivalry: The Today Show vs. Good Morning America| Lifetime, Good Morning America, Today, Television, 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.



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