CBS announced its new schedule Wednesday morning with some surprising news: Murphy Brown will make its grand return in the fall, earlier than some originally anticipated. It will also come with an unexpected twist: instead of running a newsmagazine, as she did in the original series, Candice Bergens title heroine will now anchor a morning news show—and her son, Avery, will be her top competitor—at a conservative network.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the former staff of the newsmagazine FYI is now running a morning show on cable, titled Murphy in the Morning. According to New York Times TV reporter John Koblin, Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford) will co-host with Murphy, while Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) will produce the program. CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl confirmed to reporters that the dynamic between Murphy and her sons programs will be comparable to the one that exists between Morning Joe and Fox & Friends.
Averys presence on a conservative news show is a little ironic—not just in the world of the series, but also in the real world; the original shows most memorable moment came when it responded directly to a real-world criticism from Dan Quayle over Murphys decision to have her child out of wedlock. Still, the move could allow Murphy Brown to tackle some of the modern political issues that ABCs revived Roseanne has played with—perhaps in a more organic way. Since Avery was a child when the original Murphy Brown first wrapped, his political leanings are, more or less, a blank slate. By making him a conservative, Murphy Brown will be able to examine the same fraught family dynamics that viewers have seen in Roseanne—without re-writing any of the original seriess history or changing characters into unrecognizable versions of their former selves.
The revived Murphy Brown is set to air on Thursdays at 9:30 P.M., in a comedy lineup that begins with Big Bang Theory, then moves on to Young Sheldon and Mom.
One thing CBS is certainly hoping to imitate? Roseannes record ratings. When asked if the ABC comedy had raised his own networks ratings hopes for Murphy Brown, Kahl stopped short of claiming to expect the same earth-shattering success. “Were extremely hopeful,” he told reporters. “Wed love to get Roseanne numbers. Im not sure were going to get Rosanne numbers.” Its smart not to count on such monumental ratings, but its safe to say CBS is sure hoping for them.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.