Candice Bergen Calls ‘Murphy Brown’ Revival ‘Tart and Intelligent’

Murphy Brown
Robert Tractenberg/CBS

After 20 years off the air, Murphy Brown is the latest in a flood of iconic TV shows aiming for a successful revival.

The 1988–98 sitcom — which starred Candice Bergen as a Motown-loving reporter on the TV newsmagazine FYI — earned 18 Emmys, as well as the disapproval of Vice President Dan Quayle when Murphy became a single mother. Bergen goes on the record.

Why revive your series now?

Candice Bergen: People had talked to us about it over the last few years, and [creator] Diane English and I always said, “Why? We did it already.” But now, because of the election, frankly, it seemed the right time.

What’s Murphy’s latest gig?

She was bored being retired and launched Murphy in the Morning, a roundtable news show on the CNC cable network. Faith Ford [reporter Corky Sherwood], Joe Regalbuto [reporter Frank Fontana] and Grant Shaud [executive producer Miles Silverberg] are all back in their old FYI positions.

Robert Pastorelli, Charles Kimbrough, Candice Bergen, Joe Regalbuto, Faith Ford, Grant Shaud, (Season 1), 1988-1998, © Warner Bros. Television / courtesy Everett Collection

Who’s new to the cast?

Murphy’s son, Avery [Jake McDorman], is a journalist on the conservative Wolf network. Mom is very competitive. Pat [Nik Dodani] is our social media guru, and Tyne Daly plays Phyllis, the new owner of Phil’s Bar & Grill.

Do you expect the show to raise the ire of influential folks as it did with Quayle?

We do not begin on a timid note. The show is tart and intelligent, and it and Murphy are back with their edges still serrated. That said, while we’ll be taking pokes at what’s going on, we’d like to be a unifier, eventually.

Murphy Brown, Season Premiere, Thursday, Sept. 27, 9:30/8:30c, CBS