‘Murphy Brown’ revival to tackle MeToo movement, free press
the Associated Press
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A roundup of news Sunday from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.
“MURPHY” AND METOO
“Murphy Brown” will weigh in on the MeToo movement when the series starring Candice Bergen returns to a very different world in September, the show’s creator said.
The 13-episode reboot reunites Bergen as a sharp-tongued investigative journalist and TV anchor with most of the original cast from the CBS show’s initial 10-year run that ended in 1998 — before the internet and the rise of 24-hour cable news took hold. Once again, scripts will be inspired by current events, including the fourth episode entitled “(Hashtag) MurphyToo.”
Executive producer and writer Diane English told a TV critics’ meeting the episode was developed months ago and inspired by the movement against workplace sexual harassment and assault that first gained momentum last fall.
“It’s a powerful movement,” she said. “We wanted to do it justice.”
English said the show’s writing staff, comprised of men and women of different ages who are gay and straight, spent days discussing what she calls “a complicated issue.”
“We came at it from so many different angles. Just the conversations we had in there, the perspectives that people have from their own particular prism,” English said. “I don’t think there’s probably a woman out here that hasn’t had an experience with misogyny and misconduct.”
However, English is not one of them. She says she never experienced any kind of sexual misconduct or misogyny at CBS, where CEO Leslie Moonves is under investigation for such behavior.
English said everyone on “Murphy Brown” takes the allegations against Moonves and other network employees raised in a recent New Yorker magazine article “extremely seriously” and fully supports the investigation.
“I’m focusing the show really through the prism of the press,” English said. “The First Amendment and the free press is under attack like I’ve never seen before. The press is not the enemy of the people.”
The series debuts Sept. 27.
NO ‘STACHE FOR NEW ‘MAGNUM’
The reboot of “Magnum P.I.” won’t forget fans of the original hit starring Tom Selleck, paying quiet homage recognizable to long-time viewers.
They include a pair of Dobermans, the red Ferrari, and the bickering relationship between Magnum, who is played by Jay Hernandez, and Higgins, with Perdita Weeks taking on the role that was a man in the original.
Just don’t look for the big moustache that Selleck sported in the 1980s original on CBS. His character, along with those of Higgins and T.C., all sported ‘staches. Executive producer Peter Lenkov says Selleck brought that aesthetic to the role and the reboot aims to step away from his version of the character.
However, there will be what Lenkov calls a little moustache “nod” in the second episode. The series debuts Sept. 24.