Murphy Brown is an American sitcom that aired on CBS and ran from November 14, 1988, to May 18, 1998. It was created by Diane English and produced by Candice Bergen, DeAnne Henline, and Michael Saltzman.
It ran for ten brilliant seasons, telling the story of a famous female investigative journalist and a recovering alcoholic, Murphy Brown. She is a news anchor for the show FYI, a fictional CBS television newsmagazine, and later on the series, she had her own cable morning news show entitled Murphy in the Morning.
Twenty years after the series was finished on May 1998, CBS decided to do a 13-episode reboot of the series which premiered on September 27, 2018.
If you used to be a fan of this television show and you miss it, or you want to know more about it, here are some fun facts about Murphy Brown. Enjoy!
- Candice Bergen, the actress who played Murphy Brown, had so much Emmy nomination she decided to decline some of them. Bergen was a very talented actress, even before she started doing Murphy Brown she had been nominated for two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a BAFTA. And her performance on Murphy Brown alone gained her five Emmys and two Golden Globes. After her fifth win on the Emmys in 1995, Candice Bergen decided to decline future nominations for her role as Murphy Brown. She held the record for having the most Emmys won for a single character until 2017.
- NBC wanted Heather Locklear to play the role of Murphy Brown but the show’s creator, Diane English, did not like the idea because Locklear was too young to play a 40-year old established woman. Diane English firmly believed that only Bergen can do justice to the role of Murphy Brown.
- On the show’s fourth season, Murphy Brown becomes pregnant and she decided to raise the child on her own. This made a buzz around the television industry because, at that time, single mothers were very uncommon on television. This issue had caught the attention of then-Vice President Dan Quayle who made an infamous speech against the show stating that Murphy Brown glamorized single mothers and it mocked the importance of fathers.
- Dan Quayle’s remarks against the show became a national story it even became the cover of the New York Times. That’s why the show’s episode after Quayle’s made a snide opinion against the show, featured a scene where Murphy Brown watched Quayle’s speech against single mothers. And they made a special episode wherein Murphy introduced the shifting form of the American family and asked Quayle to appreciate the situation of every family.
- NBC’s executive did not like the idea of a middle-aged recovering alcoholic woman leading a show because they thought her character was not going to be likable. They even asked Diane English to turn the lead character into a thirty-year-old woman who just returned from the spa. But Diane English still managed to convince them otherwise and created a fierce, independent woman character we all know and love.
- Murphy Brown had a total of 93 secretaries throughout the show and it was played by different actors such as Sally Field, Craig Bierko, and Paul Reubens.
- Creator Diane English left the show after season four. But she decided to come back for the tenth season of Murphy Brown just to make sure that the show received a proper send-off.
- The show’s final season was supposed to be about menopause instead of breast cancer. The network executive told the creators that Murphy Brown should just struggle through menopause. But Diane English and Candice Bergen thought that going through menopause was is not as jeopardizing.
- The breast cancer plot helped raise awareness in women that the number of American women who got mammograms increased by thirty percent.
- When the show was on its final season, the producers needed a young actor to play Murphy’s grown up son and they decided to go for Haley Joel Osment because they knew that he could hold his own scenes with Candice Bergen. Bergen even described him as professional and prepared.
- On the show’s 2018 reboot, it featured Murphy Brown leaving retirement to host a cable news show entitled “Murphy in the Morning” where she was joined by her old friends Frank Fontana, Miles Silverberg, and Corky Sherwood.
- The show’s reboot featured Murphy’s son, Avery who followed his mom into the business. But unlike his mom, he leaves Beltway to travel across the county just to find out why people voted for Trump.
Those are the fun and interesting facts we gathered for you about Murphy Brown. Which one is your favorite?