'Murphy Brown' Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin in Premiere Episode

Murphy Brown honored the Queen of Soul, and former special guest star Aretha Franklin during the premiere of its revival season.

The sweet moment happened near the middle of the episode, as Murphy (Candice Bergen) asked for her son Avery's (Jake McDorman) help setting up her Twitter account, ahead of the premiere of her brand new morning cable news show.

Avery agrees that Murphy should be on social media so that she can use it to promote her new program, as he does with his own show, which is set to premiere on the same day as his mother's.

"The more followers you have the more effective it is," Avery tells her.

"How many followers do you have?" Murphy asks.

"On Twitter? Like 542,000," Avery muses.

Stunned, Murphy exclaims, "That's the population of Baltimore."

Avery then helps Murphy set up her Twitter name, choosing RealMurphyBrown, before he asks her what password she wants.

"Password," Murphy suggests.

"Mom, Password is the most hacked password of all passwords..."

He adds, "What about Aretha Forever?"

"Yeah, that's great. Do that," Murphy says as she looks into the distance remembering her old friend and musical idol.

Franklin was a major part of the original run of Murphy Brown. Her song "Respect" was featured during the show's pilot episode, and Murphy herself was known to be a huge fan of the singer.

Her presence was felt on the show in the season four finale when she sang "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" to young Avery. Franklin also made an epic appearance on the series in a 1991 episode where she sang a duet version of the song with Bergen.

Franklin passed away Aug. 16 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She has received tributes during the MTV Video Music Awards, an appearance during the Emmys telecast, and is expected to be honored during the upcoming American Music Awards.

After news of her death broke many fans remembered Murphy Brown's love for her, taking to Twitter with their thoughts for both the show and the iconic singer.


"When we lose people who reached generations, I often think of how real (and fictional) people would feel equally bereft," one fan wrote at the time. "Today, losing [Aretha Franklin], I thought about how Diane English, Candice Bergen, and of course, Murphy, are hurting."

Murphy Brown airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.