The new season of Murphy Brown is finally here. The show is returning for a revival tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS — the first time the show has been back since it ended in 1998 after a 10-year run. This isn’t a reboot but a straight up continuation. The revival is being advertised as Season 11 of Murphy Brown. THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING. Do NOT continue reading if you don’t want to know any information about the new season.
Murphy Brown originally premiered in 1988, where she portrayed a recovering alcoholic who was considered “difficult” but also inspiring. The show was real, raw, and confident. It lasted for 10 years, ending in 1998. And now, 20 years later, the show has been revived by CBS. Most of the cast is returning, and a few new people will be joining. And there’s also going to be a special guest star tonight, but their identity hasn’t been revealed. Guesses on the person’s identity range from Dan Quayle to Hillary Clinton or even Michelle Obama.
‘FYI’ Is Gone
In the new season, the characters’ old show, FYI, is gone. We’re listing it here because FYI is practically a character itself. But the characters will still be on a news show. Murphy, Corky, and Frank are tired of being off the air, angry about the election, and so they started a new show. Replacing FYI is Murphy in the Morning. It’s a new morning news shows on a broadcast channel very similar to CNN.
Many Favorites Are Returning
Thankfully, most of the cast favorites are returning.
Candice Bergen is back, of course, as Murphy Brown.
Joe Regalbuto is back as investigative reporter Frank Fontana.
Faith Ford is back as a more mature Corky Sherwood. And in true Corky fashion, she boasts at one point about wearing Ivanka Trump pumps to a women’s march because they were on sale.
Grant Shaud is back as Miles Silverberg. (Sadly, Miles and Corky are no longer married. Some reviewers say this is confusing because they also act like they were never married in the first place and don’t talk about a divorce. But since it’s been about 20 years, maybe the divorce happened a long time ago. Paste says they don’t mention it because the characters were put together after executive producer Diane English left, and she didn’t like the decision.)
Charles Kimbrough is also back as anchorman Jim Dial, but his role is recurring this time since he — and the character — are mostly retired.
Murphy Brown’s Son Is All Grown Up
Many people still remember that touching moment when Murphy Brown’s son was born. Now Avery Brown is all grown up. Avery is portrayed by Jake McDorman, who was previously on CBS’ short-lived Limitless.
Avery anchors a morning show on the Wolf Network, which is essentially Fox News, and he’s a liberal commentator on the show. So he and his mom are directly competing.
More New Characters Are Appearing Who Could Become Fan Favorites
Tyne Daly is joining the cast as Phyllis. She jokes at one point that she spent 20 years on the NYPD, which is a callback to Cagney & Lacey. Her character inherited Phil’s Bar.
Nik Dodani is joining the cast as Pat Patel. Dodani’s past credits include Atypical, where he played Zahid in 16 episodes. In Murphy Brown, the character Pat is a social media director.
In episode three, David Costabile will play the White House senior advisor Ed Shannon (who is essentially a Steve Bannon clone.)
Adan Rocha plays Dreamer, Miguel, in Episode 2, who will be hired by Phyllis to help at the bar.
Merle Dandridge plays Diana Macomber.
Faith Sandberg is playing Mary Vernon.
Some Favorites Won’t Be Back
Sadly, Eldin won’t be returning because Robert Pastorelli from the original series passed away.
Phil is also no longer here, but his character passed away in Season 9. The FYI team bought the bar after he died on Season 9 Episode 6, titled “Phil’s Dead – Long Live Phil.” The actor, Pat Corley, passed away in 2006, but the character left the show before that.
Carl, the cameraman who was played by Ritch Brinkley, passed away in 2015.
Jay Thomas, who played Jerry Gold (Murphy’s off-and-on again boyfriend) also won’t be back. Thomas passed away at the age of 69 in 2017.
Network President Stan Lansing also won’t be back. He was played by Garry Marshall, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 81.
And the fate of the father of Murphy’s son isn’t known. It seems no one knows if Robin Thomas will one day return to play Jake Lowenstein one day.
Murphy Is Mad About the State of the Country
Just like in the original series, many storylines in the Murphy Brown revival are mirroring current events. Murphy Brown can’t stand the President, the President’s press secretary, the press briefings, and a Steve Bannon “clone.” In the premiere, Trump refers to her as “Old Murphy” in a tweet.
In one of the first episodes, she even brings a press briefing to a complete halt. Interestingly, there is one scene in Episode 2, NPR shared, where they use clips from one of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ press briefings, cut with shots of Murphy and other actors playing reporters.
In episode 3, Paste Magazine shared, Murphy will get a chance to interview the Steve Bannon clone, and she talks about how he’s a dinosaur clinging to relevance. Her stellar reporting skills are able to unmask him.
One concern that reviewers have shared is that Murphy may be portrayed as the only reporter willing to speak the truth. But time will tell if that’s the case.