‘Murphy Brown’ Officially Canceled By CBS After Last Year’s Low-Rated Revival

The return of Murphy Brown will not be returning to CBS. The network officially canceled the Candice Bergen-led series Friday after weeks of speculation on a possible eleventh-hour comeback.
With the current occupant of the White House a constant target, Season 11 of Murphy Brown saw Bergen reprise her role as the famous investigative journalist and TV anchor She reunites with her old gang hosting a morning cable news show: all older and wiser, Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) and their former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) rolled up their respective sleeves for the fictional CNC's Murphy in the Morning.
However, tackling the fake news and politics of the Donald Trump era onscreen and the NFL on Fox on the schedule, the revival of the acerbic sitcom proved a pricey ratings disappointment. In the second wave of revival fever fueling networks in recent years, the Emmy winning show returned to CBS last September almost 20 years after the original run of the Diane English-created series ended.
Jake McDorman played Brown’s now-grown son, who is also a journalist. Though not back full time, original series regular Charles Kimbrough's Jim Dial made frequent appearances on the revival.
Still, in recent months both English and CBS Entertainment boss Kelly Kahl discussed the possibility that the series could be back in the game with a Season 12. Averaging a 1.4 rating and 9.1 million viewers overall, the Warner Bros TV-produced high-profile Murphy came with greater than usual sitcom costs for CBS due to its New York filming location.
Behind the camera, English served as writer/EP of Season 11 through her Bend in the Road Productions banner, with Bergen also executive producing.
The revival did score Bergen a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.” /> During its original run, Murphy Brown won 18 Emmys — including two Outstanding Comedy Series trophies and five best lead comedy actress statuettes for Bergen — three Golden Globes, two DGA Awards and two WGA Awards.
Initially conceived as a one-time 13-episode run, the 11th season of sorts dived by 39% in viewers and the 18-49 demographic from its premiere to its December 20, 2018 finale, which had a 1.1 rating and an audience of 7.01 million.
2018-19 Renewals And Cancellations For Broadcast, Cable & Streaming

‘Murphy Brown’: Merle Dandridge Joins Season 1 Of CBS Revival

"I am excited to have Merle Dandridge join us," said showrunner/executive producer Diane English. "She plays Diana brilliantly, and her comic timing is fantastic."
Her previous notable TV roles include Gwen Gaskin on The Night Shift and Rita Roosevelt in Sons of Anarchy. Dandridge began her career on Broadway with roles in Spamalot, Rent, Aida, Tarzan, and Jesus Christ Superstar, and she originated a principle role in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Once on This Island.” /> Dandridge currently stars as Grace Greenleaf in OWN's hit drama series Greenleaf.
Greenleaf star Merle Dandridge is set for a key recurring role on CBS' Murphy Brown revival. EXCLUSIVE: Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) and her news team cohorts are getting a tough new boss.
In the revival, Bergen reprises her role as the famous investigative journalist and TV anchor, as Murphy Brown returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate. Amid a divided nation, chaotic national discourse and rampant attacks on the press, Murphy decides to return to the airwaves and recruits her FYI team: lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), investigative journalist Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), and her former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud).
Her character will be introduced in the October 18 episode. She'll play 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.

‘Murphy Brown’ First-Look Video: Candice Bergen Leads Cast In Table Read

The revival stars Bergen, Ford, Shaud, Joe Regalbuto, Jake McDorman, Nik Dodani and Tyne Daly. Television. Diane English and Candice Bergen are the executive producers for Bend in the Road Productions, Inc., in association with Warner Bros.
https://twitter.com/MurphyBrownCBS/status/1026156258192109568″ />
The team still lets off steam at Phil’s Bar, now run by his sister, Phyllis. Now back in the game, Murphy is determined to draw the line between good television and honest reporting, proving that the world needs Murphy Brown now more than ever. Murphy’s millennial son, Avery, shares his mother’s competitive spirit and quick wit, and is following in her journalistic footsteps – perhaps too closely. Joining them is social media director Pat Patel, who is tasked with bringing Murphy and the team into the 21st century. Here's the official summing up of the back-in-action comedy: The eponymous broadcast news legend and her biting take on current events are now in a world of 24-hour cable, social media, “fake news” and a vastly different political climate. Amid a divided nation, chaotic national discourse and rampant attacks on the press, Murphy decides to return to the airwaves and recruits her FYI team: lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood, investigative journalist Frank Fontana, and her former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg.
Take a look at the clip below.
were happy with the results. We don't actually get to see or hear the table read itself, but there's a lot of whooping and clapping at the end of the clip, so it certainly seems like Bergen & Co.
CBS and Murphy Brown have sent out a first-look video of Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Grant Shaud and the rest of the returning gang sitting down for their first table read in 20 years.
The first-look video was sent out as CBS has its day at TCA.
27 on CBS. Murphy Brown returns Thursday, Sept.
The emotional reunion seems to get the best of Ford, especially, who greets Bergen with a big, tearful hug. Also on set was series creator Diane English. The table read, held in New York on Tuesday, July 24, was also the first time the entire cast saw the recreated sets.
Here's the clip:

‘Murphy Brown’ Creator Diane English Says She May Need Protection As Series Returns To CBS – TCA

Asked if she’d do a Moonves-ish episode about the network's chief and harassment allegations, English said no, explaining the planned episode will be “more personal to Murphy,” and was already in the works when Ronan Farrow’s Moonves story broke.
The first episode of Murphy Brown features a cameo by an “enormously famous person,” English said, calling the casting “top secret.”
Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud reprise their Murphy Brown roles. Charles Kimbrough, who was the newscast anchor in the original series, is set to do three episodes of the remake as a guest star; his character now is retired “but he does find a compelling reason to return to the gang for a shot time,” English said. The actor lives in Los Angeles and “relocation would have been tough for him,” she explained.
For the revival, Murphy is now anchoring a cable morning show, Murphy In the Morning, with her old team.
That son, Avery, is now grown, also a TV journalist, and working for a competing cable news network called Wolf.
The very first episode, which takes place on November 8, 2016, “really sticks our head into the lion’s mouth,” said star Candice Bergen, boasting, “This show has no fear of anyone.”
These "scary times" includes a death threat to CNN on-air talent phoned in to C-span by a Trump supporter that Brian Stelter played on his CNN program. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens similarly revealed a threat from someone warning, “I don’t carry an AR but once we start shooting you f*ckers you aren’t going to pop off like you do now" Stephens warned President Donald Trump will have blood on his hands if his enemy-of-the-people attacks on journalists pushes a supporter to such extreme violence.
And [Warner Bros TV chief] Peter Roth came to us and said ‘Would you consider bringing it back?’” “Then we had an election.
An African American women heads the cable news network at which Murphy and gang work in 2018, she said.
“I don’t think there is a woman out here who hasn’t had some experience with misogyny or misconduct, so it’s a powerful movement and I want to do it justice,” she said during the show’s Q&A.
We support the investigation fully.” So seriously we developed an episode about the #MeToo movement many months ago that will be our fourth episode. “We take the allegations …very seriously. Speaking of “dealing with things,” she made a statement about the New Yorker article on sexual misconduct allegations against CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, among other CBS execs.
“I might have to have some protection," English told reporters in a scrum after her show’s Q&A panel at TCA. "I’m not kidding.” English referenced the “scary times” in which the show is coming back with original episodes after two decades.
“The same thing is happening again,” English reported happily, saying they stopped developing stories at Episode 9, so as not to “get too far ahead” of current events.
Murphy Brown creator Diane English says she may need to get security protection as she works on the return to CBS of the biting political comedy series.
Six of the series’ original writers are back, English said, noting their “uncanny ability to look ahead at what might happen politically in real life, in episodes that sometimes aired before the events actually happened."
Murphy Brown will focus on “bigger themes” including Russian election tampering and climate change. Trump-bashing jokes will be left to late-night TV shows, English said.
The press is not the enemy of the people and these characters are the press, so we deal with that a lot.” Making the newsroom comedy’s return ultra-relevant, she said, is that the First Amendment "is under attack like I’ve never seen before.
Another early episode centers on an Alex Jones/Steve Bannon-type personality, and “do they have him on the show or not.” One early episode tackles the White House press briefing room, and the fact that you “can’t get the truth” there.
According to English, she and Bergen first jokingly toyed with idea of bringing back the show in 2012 when Sarah Palin was running for Veep, but realized it only had about six episodes in it.
“Once I did that it came pouring out of me. I handed it to Candice.” Bergen's response, English said, was “Let’s do it.”
And, the show’s trademark revolving door of Murphy Brown secretaries will carry on in the show’s revival, which seemed to please TV critics in the hall.” />
Our show has always lived in the real world,” English said. “It has always been a political show with something to say.”
“We have always tried to blur the lines between fiction and reality,” she reminded. As with the show’s original run, English has reached out to real journalists and Washington personalities, asking it they will do cameos. “We were so successful that the vice president thought Murphy was a real person.” That would be Dan Quayle she’s talking about, who famously gave public remarks scolding Murphy Brown for having a child without being married.
(Cough – Megyn Kelly, NBC News – Cough).
She spent the next nine months writing a script. “As the months ticked by, we felt like we had a real reason to come back,” she acknowledged.
“Fox,” Bergen said in case anyone in the room did not get it.

CBS Picks Up Comedy Pilot ‘Fam’ Starring Nina Dobrev To Series

Nina Dobrev stars along with Tone Bell, Odessa Adlon, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph star.
In Fam, written by Kingsbury, a young woman’s dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father.
On the comedy side, still pending are pilots History of Them (multi-cam/hybrid), I Mom So Hard (multi-cam), Pandas in New York (multi-cam) and 25 (fka Best Friends) (hybrid).” />
CBS is expanding its multi-cam comedy slate with its latest pilot-to-series order Fam, from writer Corinne Kingsbury (The Newsroom), Kapital Entertainment and CBS Television Studios.
It is one of five new series orders at CBS today, along with dramas God Friended Me, Magnum P.I. The Code and The Red Line.
project, along with the Murphy Brown revival and drama FBI, both of which received straight-to-series orders. Fam joins previously ordered multi-cams Welcome to the Neighborhood, starring Cedric the Entertainer, the Untitled Damon Wayans Jr.
Kapital Entertainment co-produces with CBS TV Studios. Kingsbury and Bob Kushell executive produce with Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor as well as Wendi Trilling via TrillTV. Scott Ellis directs and executive produces the pilot.