This is Why Murphy Brown is Back on TV

Actor Candice Bergen arrives at American Film Institute's 45th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Diane Keaton at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California.

Candice Bergen | Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner

The Murphy Brown reboot is another example of a sitcom brought back from the morgue in order to hold a mirror up to the face of a dystopian and sharply divided society.

But unlike revivals like Roseanne and Will and Grace, Murphy Brown was the original political sitcom. When Candice Bergen’s hard-hitting journalist character, Murphy became a single mother on the show in 1992, vice presidential candidate, Dan Quayle attacked the storyline as being part of disintegrating family values. “It doesn’t help matters that primetime TV as Murphy Brown a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly-paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it another lifestyle choice.”

At the time Brown responded with, “Whether by choice or circumstance, families come in all shapes and sizes, and ultimately what really defines a family is commitment, caring and love.”

Fast forward to 2018 and Brown and company are back with their same brand of humor and political position. What brought Murphy Brown off the shelf and how is this show different from other reboots?

Murphy’s son Avery works for a conservative network

Bergen reveals how she wove Murphy’s son back into the storyline. “Her son is now 28 years old. He has his own news show and he’s on the Wolf Network — so, Fox — and he’s a competitor of Murphy’s and they’re on the show on opposing networks at the same time early in the morning, so they’re competing with each other constantly,” she said to CBS News.

She’s admittedly clunky in a highly networked society

Brown re-enters the world of journalism where it is important to have a Twitter following. Her flip phone is quickly replaced with a smartphone. And her son launches her Twitter account. However, Brown falls into the maladies of social media when she posts a tweet against her son’s recommendation. Her first tweet: “Hello Twitter people! Here’s a fun fact, I once went on a date with Donald Trump,” starts a Twitter war with the  president.

Her surprise guest interviews for a secretary position

Hillary Clinton giving a speech into a microphone in front of red, white, and blue stars and balloons

Hillary Clinton | Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Much to Twitter‘s delight presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes an appearance. Clinton pokes fun about interviewing for a job as Brown’s secretary. She comments on how she had secretarial experience working for a very large organization.

Brown marvels at how much her job applicant “Hilary Clinton” with one “l” looks like the former first lady. She then wonders if maybe “Hilary” is a little over-qualified, CNN reports.

Both sides are represented

Show creator Diane English is a Trump supporter, Bergen told CBS News. “Diane English, who wrote ‘Murphy Brown’ and created the show — her family are all Trump supporters and Trump voters, so we don’t want to drive people out of the tent,” she said. “Everyone is welcome to watch the show, and does it have a liberal bent? Yeah, but everyone has a voice.”

Grant Shaud, who plays producer Miles Silverberg said a Trump supporting relative saw the show and said, “‘I didn’t see anything that Bob Hope didn’t do.’ Bob Hope would poke fun at political figures and stuff like that,” according to CBS News.

This is why the show came back

Bergen admits if the election went the other way, she would not be doing Murphy Brown again. “If the election had gone another way, if Hillary had been elected, there would have been no discussion about the show coming back, because in our mind, life would have been good, but then we talked — [show creator] Diane [English] once said to CBS when Sarah Palin was running with McCain, she said I just need six episodes,” Bergen said to CBS News. “Then that petered out, but it was completely driven by the wealth of material that’s being spewn out of the White House every day.”

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