With two decades having passed since it ended its original 10-season run, Murphy Brown will reportedly be getting a reboot, as lead actress Candice Bergen and series creator Diane English look to be returning for another 13 episodes in the 2018-19 season.
According to a new report from Deadline, Murphy Brown will be returning to its original network two decades after its final episode aired, as CBS announced on Wednesday a 13-episode series order to revive the iconic sitcom. Bergen, who played the titular investigative journalist and TV anchor Murphy Brown, will reprise her role in the reboot, which CBS teased will be taking place in a vastly different world from what viewers knew in 1998, where people consume news via cable television and social media, and deal with “fake news” on a regular basis. Warner Bros. TV will also be onboard for the reboot as the sole studio.
Talk of a Murphy Brown reboot started in 2012, when English said that she wanted to bring back the series on a limited basis, with a few episodes scheduled to air during what was then an election year. While nothing substantial came out of those plans, Deadline wrote that revival talks fired up once again about a year ago, during the run-up to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as English hoped to update Murphy Brown to reflect the new political climate.
CBS hinted that the Murphy Brown reboot may likely tackle today’s media industry in the light of the current political and cultural trends, but further specifics on the revival have yet to be revealed. However, the Hollywood Reporter recalled that the original series, which ran from 1988 to 1998, infamously referenced several real-life politicians, including then-Vice President Dan Quayle, who had called out the show in a speech he made about “family values.” Undeterred by Quayle’s comments, the series took further potshots at him, particularly his misspelling of the word “potato” during a visit to a New Jersey elementary school, as one episode saw Bergen’s character dump a truck full of potatoes outside his house.
While Candice Bergen appears confirmed to play the role of Murphy Brown on the eponymous show’s reboot, it’s not sure whether the rest of her fellow cast members will join her on the revived series. Per Deadline, talks are reportedly ongoing with unspecified members of the original cast, though the Hollywood Reporter noted that several cast members, including Faith Ford (Corky Sherwood) and Joe Regalbuto (Frank Fontana), have “busy TV careers” at the moment. Original cast member Charles Kimbrough, who played Jim Dial, “appears to be at least semi-retired,” while Robert Pastorelli, who played house painter Eldin Bernecky, died in 2004 from a drug overdose, according to People.
As further noted by Deadline, the upcoming Murphy Brown reboot means that three of the “Big Four” networks will be showcasing signature comedy series from previous decades, all revived for modern audiences with many of the original actors returning. Last year, NBC brought back Will and Grace, with Eric McCormack and Debra Messing reprising their titular roles, while ABC’s Roseanne reboot, which features a mostly-returning cast led by Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, will be premiering on March 27, according to USA Today.