Way back in ancient times – when my cable company was called Capital Cablevision and I had this device called a video cassette recorder to watch shows at a later time – I loved a TV show called Murphy Brown. It starred Candice Bergen as a hard-driven but kind-hearted investigative reporter, who worked with a rotating staff of anchorpeople and television personalities at a fictional news network. The show was funny, the show was topical, the show was must-see watching for me on Monday nights.
And tonight’s episode also has a call-back to the show’s most famous antagonist and combatant.
Of course, the show took Dan Quayle’s comments and integrated it into their TV plotline.
So when I heard that Murphy Brown was returning to CBS as a limited series for the 2018-19 season, I was intrigued. What happened to Murphy and the rest of the crew – investigative journalist Frank Fontana, lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood, producer Miles Silverberg, and the rest?
Apparently, a lot.
Here’s a preview clip to catch you up on what happened to the characters.
Three other characters that weren’t mentioned in that clip above – Jim Dial retired (but he may return on a future episode or three), Phil the bar owner passed away, and so did Eldon the interior decorator and house painter. And Murphy’s son Avery is now a grownup – and working on a rival conservative network.
And thus … Murphy Brown returned.
I watched the new episode last night, and boy it was like the show had never left. The topical humor, the punchlines, the interactions between the cast – it was great. It’s probably the same feeling fans of Will and Grace had when that show returned last year.
And then … the running joke about how Murphy Brown cannot keep a secretary for more than one episode … well, human resources at the new CNC network (the one that’s hosting Murphy Brown’s “Murphy in the Morning” show) – sent up their new applicant for the secretarial position.
And hoo boy I did not see this coming.
Ho … lee …
I did not see that coming. I don’t think ANYBODY saw that coming. What’s next, is Obama going to walk into Phil’s Tavern and have a beer with the bar’s new owner (played by Tyne Daly)? Hey, this show has surprised me before, nothing’s too far out of the realm.
See, if you’ve never watched Murphy Brown before, the show interacts in a universe where Murphy is considered a journalist on equal levels with real-life journalists and anchorpeople. One of my favorite episodes from the original run of Murphy Brown was an episode that featured Faith Daniels, Mary Alice Williams and Joan Lunden appearing at Murphy’s baby shower and cracking jokes about their co-anchors and compatriots. Funny stuff.
There was also an episode where Murphy Brown (the character) was supposed to appear as a walk-on in a sitcom, while the Murphy Brown (that episode) ended with a walk-on by then-CBS anchor Connie Chung. Yes, the blurring of reality and fiction. Fun stuff.
But yeah, I’m glad that Murphy Brown has returned to the airwaves. And I’m glad to see the old FYI gang back on broadcast television once again. Even if it’s for only 13 episodes.
Now if someone can get some finances together and bring back Max Headroom … someone? Anyone? 😀