The Murphy Brown reboot cancelled! That’s the headline burning across the Internet today, with word that CBS would not extend the show’s 13-episode commitment. But cancellation may not be the case, as that’s exactly the number of episodes that had originally been ordered and scheduled for this television season anyway. Series creator Diane English, for one, refutes the headlines.
Hi again, guys. No, we are not cancelled. But we will have to wait until spring to hear if we are renewed for another season of 13. Thank you for being such a loyal audience. We shoot episode 13 tomorrow. Meanwhile you have four more episodes to enjoy starting with tonight.
— Diane English (@realmurphybrown) November 29, 2018
Last year, in the aftermath of ABC scoring so big with Roseanne and NBC with Will & Grace, CBS decided that it wanted a piece of the reboot pie as well, searching for a well-known property that it could bring back with the original cast more or less intact. After a few conversations with writer/producer Diane English, everyone agreed that the Candice Bergen series Murphy Brown would be the perfect candidate. Playing no small role in this decision was undoubtedly the political climate in the country and the fact that Murphy is about as far to the left as you could get.
As Closer Weekly previously reported, Diane and Candice had been asked by Warner Bros if they were interested in bringing the show back. “Candice and I were kind of reluctant,” Diane explained, “because we felt we had done it. But as the months ticked by, it started to feel like we maybe had a real reason to come back, though it was kind of a daunting experience to go back and revisit this. Our show always lived in the real world and was based in Washington D.C., and we’ve always been a political show with something to say, but I’m really focusing the show through the prism of the press. The First Amendment and the free press is under attack like I’ve never seen it before; like I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before. The press is not the enemy of the people, and these guys, our characters, are the press.”
It will be interesting to see what CBS ultimately decides to do. When the Murphy Brown reboot premiered on Sept. 27, it was greeted by an audience of 7.5 million people. Not even counting the last episode which aired Thanksgiving night, the show from Nov. 15 had dropped to 5.9 million. At the same time, Will & Grace — which is now in its second rebooted season — kicked off this year on Oct. 4 with 3.9 million viewers, and had dropped to 2.9 million by Nov. 15. That show has already been renewed for a third rebooted season, so maybe things don’t look as bad for Murphy as it seems at the moment.