Murphy Brown was a CBS network sitcom created by Diane English, starring Candice Bergen in the lead role. The other cast members consisted of Faith Ford, Pat Corley, Charles Kimbrough, Robert Pastorelli, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud and Lily Tomlin
It premiered on November 14, 1988 and during its first season, it peaked at #36 in the Nielsen ratings and had 14.9 million views. By the show's fourth season, it peaked at #3 in the Nielsen ratings.
During the show's fourth season (in 1991-1992), the character of Murphy Brown became pregnant out of wedlock which attracted the attention of then-Vice President Dan Quayle who criticized the Murphy Brown character for "mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone".
By the beginning of the 1996–97 season, viewership for "Murphy Brown" began to decline. Grant Shaud had left the series and comedian Lily Tomlin was brought in to replace him in the role of executive producer Kay Carter-Shepley to help bolster the sitcom's ratings.
Tomlin remained with the series for its last two years, but the show's ratings continued to drop, especially after a move off of Monday nights in favor of a slot on Wednesday nights.
CBS renewed "Murphy Brown" for a tenth season which ended up being its last.
In the fall of 1997, the final season of "Murphy Brown" premiered and the entire season served as a story arc in which Murphy battled breast cancer.
However, the storyline was not without some controversy; an episode in which Murphy used medical marijuana to relieve side effects of chemotherapy was attacked by conservative groups, and a women's health group protested an episode in which Murphy (while shopping for prosthetic breasts) uttered the line "Should I go with Demi Moore or Elsie the Cow?"
However, the show's handling of the subject was credited with a 30 percent increase in the number of women getting mammograms that year and Candice Bergen was presented an award from the American Cancer Society in honor of her role in educating women on the importance of breast cancer prevention and screening.
On May 18, 1998, "Murphy Brown" ended after 10 seasons and 247 episodes.
The series focused on Murphy Brown, a famous investigative journalist and news anchor for "FYI" a fictional CBS television newsmagazine.
- Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown
- Faith Ford as Corky Sherwood(-Forrest)
- Charles Kimbrough as Jim Dial
- Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana
- Lily Tomlin as Kay Carter-Shepley [seasons 9 & 10 ]
- Pat Corley as Phil [seasons 1-8, episode 246 ]
- Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg [seasons 1 - 8 ]
- Robert Pastorelli as Eldin Bernecky [seasons 1 - 6, episode 247]