14 November 1988 - 18 May 1998 CBS Created by Diane English
This sitcom was set in Washington, D.C., at the offices of F.Y.I., a fictitious TV newsmagazine show. With Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown, high-strung reporter who gave up booze and cigarettes after a stay at the Betty Ford Clinic; Grant Shaud as her new, twenty-five-year-old producer, Miles Silverberg; Faith Ford as empty-headed reporter, and former Miss America, Corky Sherwood; Joe Regalbuto as intense reporter Frank Fontana; Charles Kimbrough as the stuffy anchor, Jim Dial; Pat Corley as Phil, owner of Phil's Place, the local watering hole; Robert Pastorelli as Eldin Bernecky, the world's slowest painter, hired by Murphy to redo her apartment; and Christopher Rich as Miller Redfield, the idiot newsman turned anchor in later seasons. Upon One of the series's running gags was Murphy's inability to find a suitable secretary; on almost every episode a new candidate was tried out and was quickly dismissed.
During the 1990-1991 season Murphy had a relationship with Jerry Gold (played by Jay Thomas), and a brief fling with ex-husband Jake Lowenstein (played by Robin Thomas; they'd once been married for five days). In the fall of 1991 she learned that she was pregnant with Jake's baby. She decided to have the child, and to raise it by herself; the baby was born on the final episode of the season. The event attracted little attention until Vice President Dan Quayle, in a May 1992 speech addressing the "poverty of values'' in America, criticized the fictional character's decision to bear a child out of wedlock. The controversy raged during the summer, and propelled Murphy Brown's fall 1992 premiere to the top of the ratings. Murphy did not refer to the issue during that episode on which she decided to name her baby Avery, but a subsequent episode did address the uproar.
During the 9th season, Lily Tomlin joined the show as Kay Carter Shepley, replacing Miles as executive producer of FYI. At first, Kay proved to be a true rival for Murphy, but became closer as the show progressed.
Did You Know?
Candice Bergen is the only actress to win 5 primetime Emmys for portraying the same character. After winning her fifth Emmy, Candice Bergen withdrew her name from Emmy nominations. Murphy Brown cracked into the Top Ten in Neilsen Ratings during the 1990-1991 season and stayed there for the next 3 seasons; It remained in the top 20 through the 1995-1996 season. During 10 seasons and 248 episodes, Murphy hired and fired 93 different secretaries, including Marcia Wallace and Pee-Wee Herman (a role for which he recieved an Emmy nomination.)