Murphy BrownLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 10/19/18 at 2:36AM EDT
Murphy Brown loads up on more big-name guest-stars, including Bette Midler and Brooke Shields
Katie Couric, John Laroquette and Peter Gallagher are also visiting the CBS comedy revival this season.
Posted Friday 10/12/18 at 1:39PM EDT
Murphy Brown's #MeToo episode was equally careful and cartoonish
Source: The Atlantic
The "#MurphyToo" episode airing Thursday offered a nuanced take on the #MeToo movement, says Megan Garber. Yet she says the episode arrived amid a revival season that has featured cringey jokes that have come at the expense of women, including one joke implying that women who are sexually harassed are weak. "The episode devotes a relatively nuanced plot line about sexual violence to its white, rich, famous, powerful protagonist," says Garber. "All around that storyline, however—in the earlier episodes of the Murphy reboot, and in the rest of the '#MurphyToo' episode itself—sexism and harassment as broader phenomena are treated, largely, as jokes. Frank treats the new awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment as an inconvenience. Corky’s lifetime worth of experiences with that harassment manifest, in the show, as quirky anecdotes. Miles is attracted to a woman who works for him, and can’t stop asking her, the Id being what it is, to keep him 'abreast' of professional developments. The studio audience laughs and laughs. Here it all is, in one 30-minute package: progress and backlash. Empathy and its impediments. A culture that wants to be better—and a culture that, despite it all, isn’t." ALSO: "#MurphyToo" episode felt more like it was working through a checklist than revealing much of any new insight.
Posted Thursday 10/11/18 at 7:53PM EDT
Murphy Brown adds Greenleaf star Merle Dandridge as the news team's tough new boss
Dandrige will recur in Season 1 as Diana Macomber, "the team’s arrogant CRC network boss, a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails career woman who is proud to have worked her way up to where she is today." She'll make her debut on next week's episode.
Posted Friday 10/05/18 at 1:42PM EDT
Murphy Brown "had fun" adding Sarah Huckabee Sanders to last night's episode using real news footage and a body double
Murphy Brown snuck into a White House press conference during the George H.W. Bush administration, "so we decided to do it again," says creator Diane English. "We dedicated one of our writer’s assistants to pulling every press conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders," she adds. "We found five of them where she was wearing the same dress and her hair was the same, so we had a lot of choices for facial expressions and words. That took several weeks. Then you purchase the footage that you want and edit it into the show. We hired a voice double, auditioned body doubles, and our wardrobe people had to make the dress as close as possible. It took a village." How did they pick a body double? "They come into the casting agent’s office, they go on tape, and they do a 360-degree slow turn," says English. "We picked somebody who looked like her size and her height, and had shoulder-length hair."
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 3:04PM EDT
Murphy Brown returns to an okay 7.5 million on a "pretty dismal ratings" night for broadcast networks
The CBS revival failed to even come close to the big premiere ratings for the revivals of Will & Grace and Roseanne, but entertainment shows underperformed across the board -- including Grey's Anatomy. That might have been the result of Thursday's all-day Kavanaugh hearings, which concluded shortly before primetime. ALSO: Thursday Night Football debuts on Fox up from last year's opener on CBS.
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 3:04PM EDT
Candice Bergen suggested early on that Hillary Clinton make a Murphy Brown cameo
Creator Diane English says Clinton filmed her cameo on a closed set, without a studio audience. English adds that Bergen suggested the cameo when she was starting to write the pilot script. "She said, 'You know who would be a great secretary? Hillary Clinton.' And I thought, Oh, that’s a genius idea. Then we started a campaign," says English. "I have good friends who work very closely with her. I ran one of her PACs during the 2016 campaign. So we reached out and we sent her the script. It had to go through many hands. She really liked it, and then it was a matter of making it work in the schedule, which was the difficult part. So we did film it separate from the filming we did for our first episode, where we had a live audience. It was filmed actually two weeks later, in early August." ALSO: English says Clinton "knew her lines and she's kind of a natural."
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 6:27AM EDT
Hillary Clinton made a surprise cameo on Murphy Brown premiere
Clinton's surprise appearance Thursday on the CBS revival series was a "near-state-secret cameo," reports Deadline, which adds that the brief was let off of review screeners sent to TV critics. Clinton reportedly didn't tell any friends or family about the cameo. "She came and did a beautifully written little sketch, but not only did she do it and she was so gracious, but she was humiliating because she was a wonderful actor," Candice Bergen said of Clinton's cameo. "She doesn't overplay. She's very honest. She's very contained. She's very, very real." ALSO: Murphy Brown premiere mocked Roseanne's downfall.
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 6:27AM EDT
A sense of preachy self-importance that permeates the Murphy Brown revival
The CBS revival of the classic Candice Bergen sitcom "is conscious that the world has changed in the 20 years since we last saw Murphy and friends," says Alan Sepinwall. "The problem is that Murphy Brown itself really hasn’t, and that does more to tarnish the real show’s legacy than anything else. The original series was both a classic and very much of its time. Murphy — simultaneously glamorous and pugnacious, a recovering alcoholic who took on titans of industry and government without fear — is a Hall of Fame sitcom character. The show around her had its charms ... but also a weakness for jokes dependent entirely on name-dropping famous political and media figures of the day." The reference humor is still there in abundance, says Sepinwall. He adds that there is also "the sense of preachy self-importance that permeates the entire revival. Murphy Brown comes out of retirement to try to save America itself, and Murphy Brown seems convinced it can do the same thing."
- Murphy Brown can't escape the gentler era it was engineered for: Its attempts at takedown are tame, safe or delivered from a soapbox
- The revival has become the kind of sitcom that prefers applause to laughs -- or "clapter"
- Murphy Brown succeeds simply by being more of what it originally was: fast, sharp and unwaveringly pointed
- Murphy Brown represents both the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenario for revival series
- Murphy Brown’s political chatter has been reduced to a lot of Trump jokes
- Candice Bergen seems ill at ease, delivering dialogue that seems better-suited for the page than the rat-a-tat pace of the newsroom
- Murphy Brown is like visiting an old friend you haven't seen in a while -- and realizing the novelty of the relationship is gone
- Murphy Brown shoots itself in the foot by becoming almost entirely dependent on Trump
- There's too much emphasis on Murphy's age and being out of touch with technology -- as if she's been living in a cave for two decades
- The best aspect of Murphy Brown is how it acknowledges the meta elements of its existence without sacrificing the quality of its comedy or breaking the fourth wall
- How costume designer Patricia Fields updated Murphy's look for the cable news era
- Jake McDorman on auditioning to play Murphy's son: Bergen told him, “McDorman, get your a** in here!”
- Creator Diane English: "There’s been so much single-camera comedy that it really is great to have an audience out there"
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 2:34PM EDT
Murphy Brown's season premiere will be super-sized
CBS has given the Sept. 27 premiere five bonus minutes. The extended episode will air from 9:30 p.m. to 10:05 p.m., with S.W.A.T.'s season premiere airing afterwards from 10:05 p.m. to 11:05 p.m.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 10:47PM EDT
Murphy Brown's season premiere will pay tribute to Aretha Franklin
Franklin’s music was a huge part of the original Murphy Brown, which used "Respect" in the pilot episode.
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
Murphy Brown creator watched Will & Grace's revival very closely, says it'll be "fun for us" if Trump tweets about the show
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"I don't think he's going to be able to resist making a comment, and we welcome that," says Diane English. "That's fun for us. We don't welcome what might be a very aggressive reaction from some of the supporters out there. We're bracing ourselves." English says she studied Will & Grace's revival to see how topical and relevant her revival should be. In fact, an upcoming episode features a storyline that is very similar to the recent controversy over The New Yorker inviting Steve Bannon to participate in its Idea Festival. Meanwhile, the fourth episode, titled "#MurphyToo," will tackle the #MeToo movement. "In the episode '#MurphyToo,' we have a very in-depth look at the issue — for a 21-minute show. We wanted to look at both generations' perspectives of the huge issue of sexual harassment," says Candice Bergen. "There's a dramatic scene between Murphy and her son." ALSO: Revisiting the original Murphy Brown, whose cultural imprint endures.
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 4:01PM EDT
CBS puts 18 old Murphy Brown episodes on CBS All Access in advance of the revival's premiere
The original Murphy Brown has been previously unavailable on streaming services because rerun rights are too costly, in part due to the show's expensive taste in music. Murphy Brown reruns are, however, still available on Antenna TV.
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 1:29PM EDT
Murphy Brown adds Adan Rocha to help tackle Trump's controversial immigration policies
Rocha, who previously recurred on Brockmire, is joining the cast as a series regular. Starting with the second episode, he'll play a Mexican dreamer named Miguel, a college student who came to the United States at age 1.
Posted Friday 9/07/18 at 5:04PM EDT
Tony Goldwyn had a Scandal-esque storyline on the original Murphy Brown pilot
In the 1988 pilot, Goldwyn played a man accused of having an affair with the female vice presidential candidate.
Posted Thursday 8/16/18 at 1:39PM EDT
Aretha Franklin dies: Remembering The Queen of Soul's most memorable TV performances
"Aretha Franklin's was the voice of the 20th century," says Jack Hamilton in a tribute to the iconic performer. "No other singer left such a definitive mark on the course of popular music—simply put, there is singing before Aretha Franklin, and there is singing after her." Franklin's voice made its TV debut at age 19 on Jack Paar's Tonight Show. By her third TV appearance, singing "Won't Be Long" on The Steve Allen Show in 1964, "her mastery of both the piano and her performance was captivating," says Naima Cochrane. In 1973, Franklin became one of the rare performers to sing live on Soul Train (most performers used lip-sync tracks), singing "Day Dreaming." Introducing this performance, host Don Cornelius said, “I consider myself very fortunate to have lived on earth during her career, and that I was able to see and hear what she has done. She deserves all the titles she has been given, for she is the Queen.” In 2014, Franklin showed that her voice was still great while performing a cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on The Late Show with David Letterman. "In this Letterman performance," says Cochrane, "Franklin brought back longtime backing vocalist Cissy Houston (who possibly didn’t care to be there, judging from her expressions during the performance), and proved she hadn’t lost a step or a note, nor had her unique gift for transforming and elevating already iconic songs faded. In her style of transforming the end of a song, she transitions into 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,' playing to the audience with her hand on her hip as though to emphasize her continued reign."
- Longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich recalls Franklin saving him in 1998 when she agreed to sing "Nessum Dorma" at the last minute because Luciano Pavarotti was too ill
- Franklin singing "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammys was the greatest awards show performance ever
- Franklin made only one TV acting appearance, on Room 222 in 1971
- Watch Franklin playing herself on a 1991 episode of Murphy Brown
- Watch Franklin's 60 Minutes profile from 1990