The return of Murphy Brown will not be returning to CBS. The network officially canceled the Candice Bergen-led series Friday after weeks of speculation on a possible eleventh-hour comeback.
In the second wave of revival fever fueling networks in recent years, the Emmy winning show returned to CBS last September almost 20 years after the original run of the Diane English-created series ended. However, tackling the fake news and politics of the Donald Trump era onscreen and the NFL on Fox on the schedule, the revival of the acerbic sitcom proved a pricey ratings disappointment.
Initially conceived as a one-time 13-episode run, the 11th season of sorts dived by 39% in viewers and the 18-49 demographic from its premiere to its December 20, 2018 finale, which had a 1.1 rating and an audience of 7.01 million.
Averaging a 1.4 rating and 9.1 million viewers overall, the Warner Bros TV-produced high-profile Murphy came with greater than usual sitcom costs for CBS due to its New York filming location. Still, in recent months both English and CBS Entertainment boss Kelly Kahl discussed the possibility that the series could be back in the game with a Season 12.
With the current occupant of the White House a constant target, Season 11 of Murphy Brown saw Bergen reprise her role as the famous investigative journalist and TV anchor She reunites with her old gang hosting a morning cable news show: all older and wiser, Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) and their former wunderkind news producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) rolled up their respective sleeves for the fictional CNC’s Murphy in the Morning.
Though not back full time, original series regular Charles Kimbrough’s Jim Dial made frequent appearances on the revival. Jake McDorman played Brown’s now-grown son, who is also a journalist.
Behind the camera, English served as writer/EP of Season 11 through her Bend in the Road Productions banner, with Bergen also executive producing.
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During its original run, Murphy Brown won 18 Emmys — including two Outstanding Comedy Series trophies and five best lead comedy actress statuettes for Bergen — three Golden Globes, two DGA Awards and two WGA Awards. The revival did score Bergen a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
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