After the popular CBS sitcom's initial 10-season run from November 14, 1988, to May 18, 1998, a Murphy Brown reboot is finally happening this fall. Created by Diane English and starring Candice Bergen, the show followed the latter’s eponymous character, an investigative reporter and anchor of the fictional news program FYI, as she navigated the wide world of the news media. Here's what we know about the Murphy Brown reboot.
Meet the Murphy Brown reboot cast
This past January, CBS revealed that English, Bergen and most of the series’ original cast would return for a Murphy Brown revival, 20 years after the original run came to an end. The reboot will almost perfectly commemorate the program’s 30th anniversary, all while thrusting Brown and company into a brand new world rife with 24-hour cable news channels, social media and other perilous pitfalls.
Following the principal cast and crew’s presentation at the recent Television Critics Association summer preview, far more is known about what the Murphy Brown reboot will entail. Here are the four big things audiences should know before tuning in in September.
What will the Murphy Brown reboot be about?
Brown now has her own show
Instead of retaining her duties as host of the FYI news program, Brown is now heads her own morning news show, Murphy in the Morning. Entertainment Weekly revealed the show-within-a-show’s set in late January, when the trade outlet published exclusive photos from the revival’s first table read with the cast. “It’s an incredible thing when you can step away from something you care so much about, and now, 20 years later, it’s as if not a day has passed,” said English.
Both sides of the current media landscape will be on full display
Although the character of Murphy Brown’s son, Avery, is back, the adult version will be played by actor Jake McDorman. What’s more, Avery has followed in his mother’s footsteps… to a degree. In an obvious play on the conservative cable news station Fox News, the Wolf network will serve as a conservative, right-wing antagonist to Brown’s efforts at Murphy in the Morning. And Avery? He works for them as a liberal talking head for its star pundits to banter with.
There’s a #MeToo episode
During the series’ TCA panel, reporters asked the cast and crew about the allegations of sexual misconduct against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves unearthed reporter Ronan Farrow. English’s response? “I just want to say on behalf of everybody on our show, we take the allegations of sexual conduct extremely seriously,” she said. “So seriously that we actually developed an episode about the #MeToo movement many months ago.”
As for the allegations against Moonves specifically, English said the show “[supports] the investigation fully,” adding: “None of us had a negative experience like that at CBS. We never experienced any kind of sexual misconduct. No one on my crew has.” Oh, and the #MeToo episode’s title? “#MurphyToo.”
President Trump’s attacks on the press are also a factor
Unsurprisingly, President Trump’s seemingly unending line of attack against the press, typically dubbed “Fake News” whenever the particular outlet or story is critical of him, is having an effect on the Murphy Brown reboot. As Bergen explained at TCA, “The news now, thanks to our president, is in constant turmoil. I think it will be reassuring to see Murphy sticking up for the press and sticking up to the president.”
As for the very real possibility that the show’s positive focus on the news media may draw Trump’s ire, Bergen and company are readying themselves. “I don’t know what the reaction will be, and I’m trying to brace myself,” said the star. One reporter asked her about Trump’s previous comments about the press, especially his contention that they were the “enemy of the people.” Bergen’s response? “I just thought: ‘We’re screwed.’”
Murphy Brown reboot release date
The Murphy Brown reboot debuts Thursday, September 27 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.