'Murphy Brown' Promises 'Top Secret Celebrity' for First Episode, But Who?

The first episode of the Murphy Brown revival will include a "top secret celebrity" guest, but creator Diane English would not spill the beans during the show's Television Critics Association press tour panel Sunday.

"We have an enormously famous person in our first episode," English told reporters, according to TVLine.

While she did not reveal the person's identity, she appeared to hint it would be a real-life public figure playing themselves on the show.

This comment sparked speculation among reporters at the panel, and many recalled the previous real-life personalities who appeared during the show's original run.

One person suggested the guest could be former Vice President Dan Quayle, who famously criticized the show during the 1992 presidential campaign for making Murphy Brown a single mother. The show responded to his comments in the episode "You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato," which used Quayle's real-life speech on the fictional FYI.

Others suggested it could be Hillary Clinton, but Clinton is also appearing in the season premiere of CBS' Madam Secretary, alongside other former Secretaries of State, including Colin Powell and Madeline Albright.

One guest star we definitely know about is Charles Kimbrough, who played anchor Jim Dial. Since the new episodes are being filmed in New York and Kimbrough is retired and living in Los Angeles today, he could not commit to all 13 episodes. English said Kimbrough plans to appear in a few episodes.

"Jim is retired, but he does find a compelling reason to return to the old gang," the creator said, reports Variety.

The new episodes will bring back Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown, Faith Ford as Corky Sherwood, Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana and Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg. English said Corky and Miles are no longer connected romantically.

Pat Corely, who played Phil, died in 2006 and his role was not recast. Robert Pastorelli, who played the fan favorite Eldin Bernecky, died in 2004. Bergen said the new episodes include a "toast" to Pastorelli.

The season premiere starts on Nov. 8, 2016, the day of President Donald Trump's election, and that inspires Murphy to come out of retirement. Instead of working on the fictional FYI, she works on a morning show called Murphy In The Morning. Her son Avery is now grown and played by Jake McDorman (Limitless).

Avery followed his mother into the newsbusiness, joining a Fox News-style network as its liberal voice.

"When we left these characters in 1998, there was no Internet," English said Sunday. "There was no social media. Cable news was just getting started. To take these characters and put them in the world of cable news [is] very rich."


Murphy Brown returns on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo credit: CBS