What Murphy Brown Got Wrong and What Last Man Standing Got Right

Last week marked the return of two sitcoms, Murphy Brown and Last Man Standing. Both shows have had their own interesting journeys. Murphy Brown was on the air for ten years and was seen by many as a landmark for how women were represented on television. Reboots are all the rage these days in Hollywood, but as Candice Bergen has repeatedly pointed out, her show wouldn’t have been revived if it weren’t for the election of President Donald Trump and part of her goal is to “restore respect for the press.” Meanwhile, Last Man Standing ran for six years before ABC decided to pull it off the air in 2017. Its cancellation confused its fans since it had always earned solid ratings for Friday night standards and many believed it was a political decision since Tim Allen is conservative, something the network has denied. So how did audiences Continue reading "What Murphy Brown Got Wrong and What Last Man Standing Got Right"

Watch Hillary Clinton Make a Painful Cameo in the Season Premiere of Murphy Brown

The classic sitcom Murphy Brown made its return to television this week and its season premiere included a special appearance. The scene begins with Murphy Brown (reprised by Candice Bergen) that she is interviewing a job applicant to become a secretary for the studio. Little did she know that the job applicant was none other than Hillary Clinton. “Hello, I’m hear to interview for the secretarial position,” Clinton told a completely stunned Brown. “God,” Brown reacted. “You look just like-” “I know, Hillary Clinton. I get that a lot,” Clinton responded. “But my name is spelled with one ‘L.'” The two of them then sit down, with Brown warning Clinton that it’s a “demanding job,” which didn’t scare the former Secretary of State, saying she isn’t afraid of hard work and Continue reading "Watch Hillary Clinton Make a Painful Cameo in the Season Premiere of Murphy Brown"

Candice Bergen: Murphy Brown ‘Wouldn’t Have Come Back’ If Trump Hadn’t Won The Election

On Wednesday night, Candice Bergen appeared on The Late Show to promote the reboot of her classic sitcom Murphy Brown. Stephen Colbert began by praising her show for being “groundbreaking” in it’s “mixture of politics and topical news” on a weekly sitcom. “What in today’s politics could you possibly find to talk about?” Colbert jokingly asked. “It’s a desert, what can I say,” Bergen reacted. “We wouldn’t have come back if the election had gone differently. So it’s the only thing that I owe the president.” When asked how has the television landscape changed since her show was on the air, Bergen quickly responded by saying there wasn’t social media back in the day. But she gave a part-two answer. “And people still had respect for the press. They weren’t the ‘enemy of the people,'” Bergen told Colbert. “So that’s a big change. So we’re trying to restore Continue reading "Candice Bergen: Murphy Brown ‘Wouldn’t Have Come Back’ If Trump Hadn’t Won The Election"

Murphy Brown Reboot Teases Fox News-esque Rival, ‘Enormously Famous’ Special Guest

Murphy Brown is coming back on the air and will feature some updates for the Trump era, including the inclusion of a Fox News-esque network. Brown, who will once again be played by Candice Bergen, will remain an outspoken liberal voice in the revival. However, her son Avery — all grown up — will have a job at a conservative network what Bergen has admitted is based on the real-life Fox News. The plot twist was revealed Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. The Vulture reports:
Jake McDorman plays the grown-up Avery, who is now employed as the liberal voice of Wolf Network — a cable news outlet that Bergen made sure to say is the show’s version of Fox News. McDorman said that his character will be shaped by a life spent
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Continue reading "Murphy Brown Reboot Teases Fox News-esque Rival, ‘Enormously Famous’ Special Guest"

Murphy Brown Reboot Teases Fox News-esque Rival, ‘Enormously Famous’ Special Guest

Murphy Brown is coming back on the air and will feature some updates for the Trump era, including the inclusion of a Fox News-esque network. Brown, who will once again be played by Candice Bergen, will remain an outspoken liberal voice in the revival. However, her son Avery — all grown up — will have a job at a conservative network what Bergen has admitted is based on the real-life Fox News. The plot twist was revealed Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. The Vulture reports:
Jake McDorman plays the grown-up Avery, who is now employed as the liberal voice of Wolf Network — a cable news outlet that Bergen made sure to say is the show’s version of Fox News. McDorman said that his character will be shaped by a life spent
🙊
Continue reading "Murphy Brown Reboot Teases Fox News-esque Rival, ‘Enormously Famous’ Special Guest"

CBS’ Murphy Brown Revival Will Be Taking on Cable News

The original Murphy Brown centered on the fictional newsmagazine FYI, but with CBS reviving it in 2018, the reboot will have a different media focus. All the big networks have been announcing their new fall shows over the past week, and per The Hollywood Reporter, CBS today revealed the hook for the big new revival:
Programming SVP Thom Sherman offered up some details about the new Murphy Brown during a breakfast with press. The returning characters, who anchored news magazine FYI in the original, now have a morning cable news show called Murphy in the Morning. The twist is that Candice Bergen‘s character’s son is on a rival morning show.
Someone in the room noted the similarity between the morning rivalry between Morning Joe and Fox & Friends, and CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl called that a “good comparison.” The new Murphy Brown is set Continue reading "CBS’ Murphy Brown Revival Will Be Taking on Cable News"

Sarah Palin Takes on Murphy Brown in Her New Book America By Heart

In her new book America By Heart, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin goes there, ripping the scab off of a long-festering national wound: Murphy Brown’s single motherhood. Following in the footsteps of former Vice President Dan Quayle, Palin takes a swipe at the fictional TV character who became pregnant, and when the father abandoned her, chose to have the child and raise it herself.

Aside from the obvious contradictions, and the questionable wisdom of lining up with a vice-presidential punchline, what brought this on? And when will she finally speak out against AfterMASH? (h/t Media Matters)

Media Matters is having a grand old time picking Palin’s new book apart, but the Murphy Brown reference was so counterintuitive and random, it really jumped out:

Hollywood elites take it on the chin for not being “commonsense constitutional conservatives,” including a few you weren’t expecting, largely because you haven’t thought about them in years.

Case in point: Candice Bergen and Murphy Brown:

Standing up for the family wasn’t fashionable then and it is even less fashionable now. Many of us remember one of the early and epic clashes of the American heartland versus Hollywood over the role of the American family.

It was May 1992, and thirty-eight million Americans watched as a fictional television journalist named Murphy Brown, finding herself over forty, divorced, and pregnant, decided to have the child alone. Without the baby’s father. On prime-time television. [Page 116]

Palin goes on to attack former astronaut Steve Austin, whom she labels “The Six Million Dollar Boondoggle,” and takes a swipe at Mr. Spock’s practice of very unsafe sex.

You’re probably wondering why Palin, who laudably admitted to agonizing over whether to terminate her own over-40 pregnancy, would chide a fictional character who decided to keep her baby. Like Quayle, it’s possible that Palin glossed over the fact that the fictional father wasn’t willing to help her fictionally raise the child. Palin certainly isn’t suggesting that Brown should have had a fictional abortion.

You may also wonder what the difference is between Murphy Brown and Bristol Palin, arguably the most famous non-fictional single mother in the world. Is it just a case of “You say potato, I say potatoe?”

According to Palin, “I’m biased, of course, but given a choice of role models between Bristol and Murphy Brown, I choose Bristol.”

Fair enough, but Bristol and Candice Bergen’s Murphy Brown share something in common that most women in this situation lack: the financial means to ease the burden of that decision. “Chosen” or not, I wouldn’t dream of questioning the “worthiness” of Palin’s “grouping” to call itself a family, and neither should anyone else. Including Sarah Palin.