Murphy Brown was one of those shows we watched because our mom was watching, but we secretly loved it. Candace Bergen played the titular character, who was a recovering alcoholic returning to work at a news station. Over 40 years old, Brown manages to become one of the most notable media personalities in her field.
The show stepped away from the norm. For 10 seasons, there was no male counterpart to Brown. It wasn't about her trying to navigate her career and personal life, but rather a strong, independent woman who was focused on her work. The show broke barriers when Brown became pregnant, after Bergen herself had gotten pregnant in real life. The writers decided to add it to the show, choosing to leave Brown unmarried, and making the father uninterested in being part of the child's life. Former Vice President, Dan Quayle, was not impressed with the decision.
"It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown – a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman – mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice'."
Writers even added his speech into the show, as he only referred to "Murphy Brown" and never Candace Bergen. The show opened countless doors for single working mothers, and changed the landscape of television as we know it.
Now, CBS is ready to create some of that magic all over again.
The network has ordered 13 episodes of the sitcom for the 2018-2019 season. Bergen will be returning as her former character, along with creator Diane English, who will be writing and executive producing the show.
"As its 30th anniversary approaches, 'Murphy Brown' returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate," the network said in a statement.
Bergen won five Emmy Awards for her role as Murphy Brown, and in 1996 she actually took herself out of the running so other people had a chance to win. Bergen admits she wasn't keen on doing a television show, but her friends persuaded her.
"I wasn't quite ready to do a television series, but then there were whispers about this pilot script," Bergen said, with people telling her, "'You know there's this pilot script that's as if it's been written for you.'"