It’s official: what’s old is new again, especially when it comes to nostalgic TV programming and the stars of successful shows of decades past. We saw it with Fuller House, we’re seeing it with the current resurrections of Roseanne, The X-Files, Prison Break and Will & Grace, and we’ve even been promised an upcoming remake of Party of Five.
Old TV is definitely the new trend.
But we’re particularly tickled pink by the most recent revival announcement, that the one and only Murphy Brown is returning to CBS for the 2018-19 season. In fact not only is it returning — with original star Candice Bergen back in the leading role by the way — but it’s also got a 13-episode commitment from the network. If that isn’t a vote of confidence we don’t know what is.
Here’s the part that has us really excited though: while some of these other revivals seem to be banking on nostalgia alone, Murphy Brown returns at a really interesting and relevant time in the current news cycle. With fake news, social media and the explosion of cable news programming, a show about an ageing journalist seems to have plenty of places to go and interesting fodder to attack. Add in a tumultuous political landscape in the U.S. and the current #MeToo movement, and bringing this show back really does seem to be a no-brainer.
Of course, back in the day Murphy Brown was pretty memorable over the course of its 10-year run without any of those other issues to play off of. Not only did the show receive 62 Emmy nominations (and 18 wins), 15 Golden Globe nominations and a handful of other awards, but Murphy Brown as a character is often cited as one of our great feminist TV icons. And considering that Bergen won five Emmys and a Golden Globe herself for the role, it’s kind of hard to picture anyone else playing her.
So who else will be back for the revival? The details are still being worked out, but we do know that creator Diane English is back as a writer and executive producer. Considering the love that English and Bergen had for each other creatively in the past we can’t say we’re surprised. We’re also hoping that some familiar faces, like Lily Tomlin, will be able to reprise their roles. And of course, our fingers are crossed that Murphy is still rotating through those secretaries, allowing ample opportunities for memorable guest stars.
When we last left the reporter and single mom back in 1998 she had beaten cancer and recommitted herself to her work and colleagues. Of course it’s now been nearly 30 years since the show first debuted in 1988, which means plenty will have changed in Murphy’s life since then.
Here’s hoping it’s just as relevant, funny and timely as ever.