Flashback Friday: Murphy Brown joins the TV reboot craze with new series

Murphy Brown is back

We knew they’d start plundering our favourite sit-com vaults sooner or later.

After the phenomenal success of the Will & Grace reboot in the US late last year, the 80s and 90s revival craze is now in full effect.

Quick-witted broadcaster Murphy Brown is the latest to dust off the shoulder pads for 13 new episodes of the original 1989-99 series baring the same name – Full House and Roseanne are also in production for a return in 2018.

Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen, now 71, who won five Emmys for her work on the hit show, is back in the title role.

In 1992, the show’s main character, a single divorced woman, became a subject of the culture wars of the day when Vice President Dan Quayle criticised her decision to have a child outside marriage.

“Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong,” Quayle said.

“Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this. It doesn’t help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomises today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.”

The show responded by including snippets of Quayle’s speech on the show itself in its fifth season premiere.

Murphy overhears the speech in the episode and says, “I’m glamorising single motherhood? What planet is he on? I agonised over that decision.”

“Perhaps it’s time for the vice president to expand his definition and recognise that, whether by choice or circumstance, families come in all shapes and sizes. And, ultimately, what really defines a family is caring and love,” Murphy says later in the episode.

More than two decades later, Murphy Brown returns to #MeToo, and “a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate,” US broadcaster CBS said in a statement.


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