The Murphy Brown revival finally premieres later this month, and a few photos from the pilot episode are now available.
Murphy Brown was a beloved sitcom in its own time, running from 1988 to 1998 with a total of 10 seasons. Back in January, CBS announced that it would be bringing the old classic back in the hopes of competing with other popular reboots and revivals, including Will & Grace and Roseanne. The original actress behind Murphy Brown -- Candice Bergen -- agreed to come back at once, as both a star and an executive producer. She will be joined on the production side by Diane English, the series' original creator.
In addition to Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, and Grant Shaud are all reprising their original roles, and a few new faces will appear as well. Jake McDorman, previously of Showtime's Shameless, will play Murphy's adult son, Avery.
The new episodes promise to be unabashedly political, as evidenced by the first episode's titled, "Fake News." The show finds Murphy now anchoring her own cable morning show called Murphy In the Morning. Her old team will be right alongside her. However, her competition is none other than her own son, Avery, who hosts a show opposite his mother on a rival, more conservative news network.
The Murphy Brown revival premieres on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Here's a few sneak peeks at the debut episode.
It looks like the time jump between the original and the revival finds Miles Silverberg (Grand Shaud) in something of an emotional breakdown, leaving his old friends to talk him down. Either that, or the rest of the gang seriously misunderstood his invitation to a pajama party.
For better or worse, the Roseanne reboot used the symbolic pink hat of the Women's March quite a bit in its promotional material, symbolizing its old characters tackling new topics. To some extent, Murphy Brown appears to be planning the same, though the idea is somewhat turned on its head by putting Frank in the iconic hat.
Tyne Daly is taking on the role of Phyllis, Phil's sister. Phil (Pat Corley) was the owner of the cast's favorite bar during the original series, though it appears to be under new management. This is likely due in no small part to Corley's passing in 2006. The actor passed away from congestive heart failure at the age of 76.
The reboot reportedly finds Frank, Corky and Miles all working with Murphy on her new cable show, even after all the years between the two series.
The reboot centers around a morning news show, leaving lots of room for light-hearted banter, and also cutting parody. These days, morning news shows like Morning Joe and Fox and Friends play a frighteningly important role in our democracy, and Murphy Brown will probably try to tackle that to some extent.
It is still unclear why Miles is shown slumped against his own door in a bathrobe, but it is clear that he is still hard at work with his crew. Miles and Murphy maintained a competitive streak in the original series, where he was her executive producer. Nothing seems to be different, judging by the headset around his neck. One does have to wonder if his extra-long tie in this scene might be a part of some jab at the president, who was criticized for wearing his tie too long after the election.
Murphy Brown looks right at home back on screen, and it will be exciting to see how this lifelong journalist adapts to 21st century media.
One of the central parts of Murphy Brown's character is that she is a recovering alcoholic. Still, that never stopped her from spending time at Phil's with the rest of her news team. It is unclear what she is handing to Phyllis in this still, but she looks to be doing it on the sly.
Like all the recent revival shows, it appears that Murphy Brown will try to introduce a stereotypical Millenial character into the cast, milking all the generational jokes possible. Pat Patel (Nik Dodani) shows all the signs of this, with his untucked, brightly patterned shirt, top-heavy haircut and distinctly visible Bluetooth earbuds.
While Murphy's relationship with her son, Avery, is set up as contentious due to their professional rivalry, it is clear that they will find the familial bond through it all. This still shows their hesitant smiles at one another, as well as the tops of Chinese food containers in the foreground. If they are on good enough terms to share a meal, things cannot be all bad.