Murphy Brown turns 25 this week, but it’s the TV show’s fans who got the present.
The show, featuring Candice Bergen as a smart-alecky, fresh-out-of-rehab news anchor, premiered on Nov. 14, 1988, and to celebrate that milestone, it was just announced that the long-running comedy has finally entered syndication.
Murphy Brown starred Bergen, along with Faith Ford, Grant Shaud, Joe Regalbuto, Charles Kimbrough and Lily Tomlin, as reporters for a national show that covered politics, lifestyle pieces and hard-hitting news. Think The Newsroom but with a killer sense of humor. The half-hour comedy ran on CBS from 1988 to 1998.
“I have no idea why it’s taken so long,” Bergen told the Zap2it blog. “I was always told it was because the music rights were so expensive, because every episode opened with a Motown song. I’m thrilled it’s going back on — and without commercials, which is lovely. I barely watched the show in its last five years, so I haven’t seen it in a long time.”
Bergen earned five Emmy Awards for her work as the smart, spunky, prank-loving newscaster, who famously raised the ire of real-life Vice President Dan Quayle when she chose single motherhood. There was talk of reviving the show during the 2012 election if Sarah Palin had decided to run for president, but when Palin opted out, talks of a reunion were tabled.
Over the course of its decade-long run, the show tackled subjects such as addiction, breast cancer, motherhood and, of course, topical political issues. The show also hosted many guest stars, including Bette Midler, Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton-John:
Murphy Brown is returning to the air on Encore Classic, a new premium cable channel that will replace Encore Love, and is aimed at the Baby Boomer demographic. Along with Murphy Brown episodes, the channel will feature reruns of shows like Night Court and Magnum, P.I. along with films such as Tootsie, Kramer vs. Kramer and Good Will Hunting.
The Encore channel changes take place on Dec. 2.