Actress Candice Bergen, 71, will reprise her role as Brown, a fierce female journalist working in a male-dominated world of broadcast news. Diane English, the show’s creator, will return as a writer and producer.
The statement implied that the reboot will tackle current political and cultural issues, saying the show “returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate.”
The original show was critically acclaimed, earning 62 Emmy nominations. It often tackled divisive social issues during its decade-long run. The most famous instance came when Brown, a single woman, became pregnant. She wrestled with the idea of having an abortion but eventually decided to have the child and raise it on her own.
The story line prompted harsh comments from former vice president Dan Quayle, a Republican, who criticized the show while giving a speech in 1992 on the Los Angeles riots, which he claimed were the result of “the breakdown of family structure.” He said “Murphy Brown” contributed to this breakdown.
“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 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.”
The show responded by including snippets of Quayle’s speech on the show itself in its fifth season premiere. Brown overhears the speech it in the episode and says, “I’m glamorizing single motherhood? What planet is he on? I agonized over that decision.”
“Perhaps it’s time for the vice president to expand his definition and recognize that, whether by choice or circumstance, families come in all shapes and sizes. And, ultimately, what really defines a family is caring and love,” Brown says later in the episode.
The show often incorporated real people into its story lines. The guest list of Brown’s baby shower, for example, included Katie Couric, Faith Daniels, Joan Lunden, Mary Alice Williams and Paula Zahn — all who played themselves.
“Murphy Brown” is the latest in a long list of popular network sitcoms that are being revived as the major networks fight for viewers with increasingly popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Fox rebooted “The X-Files,” while NBC brought back “Will & Grace.” Finally, ABC is bringing back “Roseanne.”
Like “Murphy Brown,” the new “Roseanne” reboot will address the modern political culture, portraying its main character as a Trump supporter in opposition with her family.