Murphy Brown's titular character, played by Candice Bergen, never backed down from challenging the (mostly male) establishment or speaking truth to power in its 10-year run. And from the sounds of it, the revival isn't going to either.
Murphy Brown creator Diane English told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday she was inspired to bring back the show, which follows a tough journalist and her colleagues, after the 2016 election. She was even more motivated once President Donald Trump started attacking journalists and free speech, believing seeing someone like Murphy Brown — herself no stranger to having somebody in the White House besmirch her character --- was more vital than ever. So, when the comedy returns this fall, fans shouldn't expect to see Murphy chasing softer stories or refraining to comment on what's currently happening in the world; instead, it sounds like Murphy Brown is going to be President Trump's worst nightmare.
"We always tried to blur the lines between fiction and reality," English said, adding that the D.C.-based series will be focusing the show through the prism of the First Amendment. "The press and first amendment are not the enemy of the people."
In an example of the fearlessness viewers should expect from Murphy Brown, English also addressed the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, promising that the sitcom will be tackling issues like this in the series.
"We take the allegations very seriously," she said, referring to the six women who came forward with claims of Moonves groping, forcibly kissing or making sexually aggressive remarks toward, as well as allegations that Moonves retaliated against them when they didn't give in to his advances. English added that no one involved in Murphy Brown, to her knowledge, had ever experienced any such behavior, and that the series will address sexual harassment in the workplace in the fourth episode of the revival, titled "#MurphyToo."
In order to have the flexibility to insert hot-button commentary on current issues, Murphy Brown built this need into the show's production. They have filmed nine episodes of its 13-episode season, but are currently on hiatus in order to keep things fresh for the later episodes. "We don't want to get too far ahead," English said. "We're shooting digitally so we can go in and pop in something extremely topical."
That being said, the first episode will be taking viewers back in time to Nov. 8, 2016 in an episode which Bergen said "really sticks our head into the lion's mouth."
"This show has no fear of anyone," the star added.
For a commander in chief who obviously likes to spend his time watching TV and sharing his opinions about it, Murphy Brown is very likely to inspire some passionate tweets.
Murphy Brown will premiere Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9:30/8:30c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide.com is owned by CBS.)