783 Murphy Brown, even better the second time aroundMurphy Brown and the cast of FYI are now on Nick-at-Night, and better than ever. We watched the show's first installment in 1988 and enjoyed most of the early seasons, although not happy about the out-of-wedlock baby story line.** The original ensemble included: Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), (now starring in her own sitcom with Kelly Ripa) a former Miss America hired for her looks; Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), investigative reporter; Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough), the neurotic anchorman; Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud), a new college grad in his first "real" job as a producer; Eldin Bernecky (Robert Pastorelli), a house painter who is always working on Murphy's house and becomes the babysitter when her son, Avery, is born; and Phil (Pat Corley), the owner of Phil's Bar, where the FYI staff hangs out. There was a long parade of real news reporters as guests on the show, but the funniest theme, a long running joke, were the always weird and wonderful secretaries to assist Murphy. Looking at the episode list, there are many I don't recall, but I assume I lost interest after awhile.
I just wish they weren't running it at 3:30 a.m. I get up early, but . . .
Maybe I'll have to buy the DVD: "Murphy Brown: The Complete First Season" kicks off the series with Murphy returning to "F.Y.I." after drying out at the Betty Ford Clinic. In her absence, the show has gone through some changes, including the addition of a beauty queen who thinks she's a journalist and a new young executive producer fresh from Harvard who's never worked in television. During the first season, Murphy went through twenty secretaries, sparred with her house painter Eldin (Robert Pastorelli), and traded barbs with the "F.Y.I." team at their favorite hangout, Phil's, run by the all-knowing owner Phil (Pat Corely). Unique to the series, each episode opened with a different Motown song whose title or lyrics related to the story line to follow. In its nine-year run, this acclaimed sitcom garnered 62 Emmy nominations and 18 wins, 4 of which were for season one.
The 22 episodes run 535 minutes on this 4-disc DVD with extras that include:
-- "Murphy Brown: An F.Y.I. Exclusive" looks back at season one and how it all began with interviews by Creator Diane English, Candice Bergen and other cast members
-- Episode Commentary on "Respect" and "Summer of '77" with Diane English and Candice Bergen"
Photo at Classic TV.com
** See: Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, "Dan Quayle was right." Atlantic Monthly, April 1993.