Real news with Murphy Brown on CBS

Murphy Brown’s star Candice Bergen, creator Diane English, and fan favorite Faith Ford.

 Murphy Brown, the acclaim newsroom sitcom starring Candice Bergen, is returning nearly 20 years after its impressive ten year run from 1988 to 1998 on CBS.

 The much-anticipated revival premiering Thursday, September. 27 on CBS and CBS All Access, has multiple Emmy Award winners Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown and series creator Diane English reuniting for the reboot. Also returning are original cast members, fan favorite Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, and Grant Shaud. All were on hand at the recent Television Critics Association’s summer 2018 press tour to talk about why this is the right the time to bring back the ground-breaking comedy.

 The series is centered around the fictitious broadcast news legend Murphy Brown, who is now taking her unbridled views on current events to the world of 24-hour cable, social media, and a vastly different political climate then she experienced before.

 With the nation’s increasing division, fueled by attacks on the press, Murphy decides to return to the airwaves and recruits her FYI team: lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), investigative journalist Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), and her former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud).

The cast of CBS’ Murphy Brown, (top l. to r.) Nik Dodani, Grant Shaud, Jake McDorman, Joe Regalbuto, (bottom l. to r.) Tyne Daly, Faith Ford, and Candice Bergen.

 Joining them is social media director Pat Patel (Nik Dodani), who is tasked with bringing Murphy and the team into the 21st century. Murphy’s millennial son, Avery (Jake McDorman), shares his mother’s competitive spirit and quick wit, and is following in her journalistic footsteps. At the end of the day, the dedicated news team still lets off steam at Phil’s Bar, now run by his sister, Phyllis (Tyne Daly).

 Drawn back in the game, Murphy is determined to make sure that the lines between “good television” and honest reporting are not blurred. That is the goal of Murphy Brown’s creator Diane English and star Candice Bergen and why they said the time was right to bring back the series and tackle the tough headlines this Fall.

Candice Bergen

 What’s the big difference about the old cast doing the show now? “Well, we’re older,” Bergen noted when she talked to the TV critics, “And Murphy, Corky, and Frank are starting a morning show, with Miles producing it. That’s how the first show starts. Much like ourselves, Murphy, Frank and Corky don’t like being sidelined on television. They’ve been in retirement for the last few years, and they want to get back in the action, especially now when there’s so much action. So they just want to be back in the game, and it’s a game that they’re all especially good at.”

Bergen added, “I want to say that the script for the first episode is so ambitious and so fearless.  During the taping, I turned to Joe and said, ‘This show has no fear of anyone.’ We really stick our heads in the lion’s mouth, and it’s handled so brilliantly.”

 Executive producer English added, “We’ve always been a political show. We’ve always had something to say. We’ve always had this uncanny ability to look ahead at what might happen and put it in an episode. And the same thing is happening again. Our second episode is right on the money in terms of what’s in the headlines right now. We actually developed an episode on the #MeToo movement that will be our fourth episode. When we left these characters in 1998, there was no internet, no social media. So, to take these characters and put them in the world of 24-hour cable news is very, very rich for us.” And the storytelling will reflect that motherlode of material.

[all photos courtesy of CBS]

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.