‘Murphy Brown’ to Tackle Fake News and Social Media in CBS Revival

The network is bringing back the classic sitcom with Candice Bergen reprising her iconic role.
Murphy Brown
By  · Published on January 25th, 2018

The network is bringing back the classic sitcom with Candice Bergen reprising her iconic role.

CBS is resuscitating yet another show, this time on its broadcast network. According to The Hollywood ReporterMurphy Brown will be making a comeback with 13 new episodes set to air during the 2018-19 season. Candice Bergen will reprise her role as the titular character, and original creator and writer Diane English will be penning and executive producing the revival.

Murphy Brown is the eponymous investigative reporter who works at the fictional news magazine, FYI., dominating the program with her hard-hitting journalism. However, she is not only a powerful woman in the media industry; she eventually was also shown juggling her job with the (then unreasonably controversial) responsibilities of single motherhood.

Murphy Brown began airing on CBS in 1988 and was considered ahead of its time just in its portrayal of a woman who managed to smash glass ceilings and maintain a career as a successful journalist. The show ran for 10 seasons — clocking in at a total of 247 episodes — and won several Emmy Awards, including five for Bergman as lead actress. Setting the show in 2018 would mean a vast cultural update: per CBS, Murphy Brown “returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news, and a very different political and cultural climate.”

Revivals are everywhere at the moment, from The X-Files to Will & Grace to CBS All Access’s own take on The Twilight Zone, but there’s something even timelier about the journalistic aspect in Murphy Brown. Although a sitcom, the show was known for its political satire. It incorporated incidences with real-life politicians, such as dedicating a storyline to Vice President Dan Quayle after he criticized the single parenting aspect of the show.

Every so often, stories about brave members of the press make waves in the industry, as they should. Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight and Best Picture Oscar nominee The Post are but two recent examples where real-life journalists are depicted holding institutions to account. Murphy Brown is bound to take a less dramatic route without scrimping on the biting commentary.

So far, none of the other original cast members of Murphy Brown have committed to returning to the show (where able — sadly both Pat Corley and Robert Pastorelli have died). CBS continues to look for content featuring women in front of and behind the camera, and Murphy Brown definitely fits the bill in that regard. Overall, the network has been working on diversifying its hiring practices, having also ordered pilots from three other women recently, according to THR.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)