CBS has given a 13-episode, series production commitment to a current day revival of the Network's classic comedy Murphy Brown from Warner Bros. Television for the 2018-2019 broadcast season, it was announced today by Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment, and Thom Sherman, Senior Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Entertainment. Candice Bergen, who starred in the title role from 1988-1998, will reprise her role. As its 30th anniversary approaches, Murphy Brown returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate.
Warner Bros. Television, producers of the original series, will produce the new multi-camera comedy with original creator Diane English serving as writer/executive producer through her Bend in the Road Productions banner. Bergen will also be an executive producer. This series order comes as revival shows are bigger than ever, with ABC's Roseanne revival debuting this spring, NBC's Will & Grace revival already getting a second season renewal, Fox's The X-Files proving to be a big hit, just to name a few. Given the current political climate, a Murphy Brown revival may certainly be welcomed back by new and old fans alike.
Revivals are getting so popular that even recently-ended shows are being eyed to come back, with NBC recently putting together a revival of The Office, with both old and new cast members. As for Murphy Brown, aside from Candice Bergen, it isn't clear if any other original cast members will be back. The original series centered on Candice Bergen's title character, a recovering alcoholic who, after a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic, returns to work at the fictional news magazine show entitled FYI, although she notices there have been quite a few changes since she's been gone.
The cast also included Charles Kimbrough as Jim Dial, Murphy's anchor partner who often referred to her affectionately as "Slugger." Joe Regalbuto played Frank Fontana, Murphy's best friend at the station who serves as FYI's investigative reporter. Faith Ford played the relentlessly upbeat Corky Sherwood, a former Miss America from a small town in Louisiana, who replaced Murphy Brown at the anchor desk during her stint in rehab. Upon the title character's return, the network kept her on board, normally assigning her fluff pieces or celebrity profiles. Another new addition to the FYI team was a young executive producer named Miles Silverberg, played by Grant Shaud, who came from public television and is just as neurotic as he is intelligent. After Shaud left following the eighth season, he was replaced by Lily Tomlin, who played veteran TV producer Kay Carter-Shepley for the final two seasons. The cast was rounded out by Pat Corley, who played Phil, the proprietor of an infamous D.C. bar dubbed Phil's, who knew everything about practically anyone who ever set foot in D.C., and Robert Pastorelli, who played Eldin Bernecky the house painter Murphy Brown kept employed for six seasons.
During the show's original 10-year run on CBS, Murphy Brown received 62 Emmy nominations (with 18 wins), 15 Golden Globe nominations (with three wins), three Screen Actors Guild awards, five Directors Guild nominations (with two wins) and four Writers Guild nominations (with two wins). Bergen won five Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In 2010 TV Guide named Murphy Brown one of the "25 Greatest TV Characters of All Time." Hopefully we'll have more details on this CBS series soon.