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Trivia / Murphy Brown

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Candice Bergen once went on a date with Donald Trump when both were teenagers, which was added to Murphy's history in the relaunch.
  • Adored by the Network: Throughout the show's long run, it kept the exact same time slot from the very beginning to the very end: Mondays at 9:00 pm.
    • Referenced in the O.J. Simpson chase expy:
    Miles:"...and ABC wouldn't break into Home Improvement for the Second Coming!"
  • Baby Name Trend Starter: Murphy's mom Avery was the first time any person had ever heard of a female character having the name Avery, and this started fans to name their daughters after her.
  • The Character Died with Him:
    • When Colleen Dewhurst died, Avery Brown (Murphy's Mother, whom she played) died in series.
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    • Pat Corley died in 2006, so the relaunch has Tyne Daly as Phil's sister running the bar.
    • The same was done with Robert Pastorelli's character, Eldin Bernecky, Murphy's perpetual house painter; the revival's opening episode states he died on vacation, participating in the running of the bulls.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Joe Regalbuto, who played Frank, directed 20 episodes over the course of the series. He went on to direct a number of episodes for George Lopez.
  • Executive Meddling: They tried. According to Candice Bergen at the TV Land Awards, executives were a little concerned that a 40-something woman recently back from rehab might not be sympathetic, and asked if she could be a 20- or 30-something woman recently back from a spa vacation. Diane English protested, and it was eventually averted.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Oh, seasons 2 through 10, will you ever see the light of day on DVD?
    • Highly unlikely, given the poor sales for the season 1 set and the high cost of licensing the vintage Motown music used on the show.
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  • The Other Darrin: Up until and including the episode where Jim and Doris separated, Doris was played by Janet Carroll. In the final season, she was played by Concetta Tomei. The difference was notable, to say the least.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • When Murphy Brown became a single mother, Dan Quayle used her as a condemnation of single parents. An entire episode addressed Quayle's attack (including the actual New York Daily News "QUAYLE TO MURPHY BROWN: YOU TRAMP!" headline), taking the angle that in the show's universe, Quayle was talking about "real" television journalist Murphy Brown, as opposed to Murphy Brown the fictional character. Followed by a Take That! of Murphy Brown dumping potatoes on the White House lawn.
    • When the Colleen Dewhurst, the actor who played Murphy's mother, died in early Season 4, her character also died on the show in the episode "Full Circle", which was dedicated to her.
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    • Murphy has five Emmys, and Candice Bergen won five Emmys for playing Murphy
  • Screwed by the Network: The BBC, not CBS. The series wasn't bought for showing on British terrestrial television until after the Dan Quayle affair, several years after it had started. BBC2 then dumped it in the same early evening slot that played host to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Degrassi Junior High, and pulled it after the first eight episodes had been shown. (Reviewers making unflattering comparisons to Drop the Dead Donkey didn't help... interestingly, that series flopped when it was shown in America.)
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • If any sitcom can be said to be an intentional period piece, it's the unabashedly topical Murphy Brown. An early Family Guy episode poked fun at the show's tendencies by having its characters engage in a conversation where the only intelligible words are references to then-current events, all of which were hilariously dated in 2000, less than ten years after the show's heyday.
    • There's also the fact that the show's entire tone seemed geared to Baby Boomers. Alongside the Motown soundtrack and the heavy protest-era nostalgia, the Boomers Murphy and Frank come off a lot better than Jim (the senior anchor, who is an old fuddy-duddy) and Corky (the Gen-Xer, who starts off a total moron).
    • The revival takes place in 2018, with rapid-fire skewering of the presidency of Donald Trump (including Brown's Big "NO!" reaction towards his election, the presidency's denial of climate change, and his use of social media to attack media personalities he doesn't agree with — and that's just the first episode) and the modern state of cable news (with CNC and Wolf being parodies of CNN and Fox News Channel).


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