“Murphy Brown” Returns to CBS – Candice Bergen Reprises Starring Role

The original cast of MURPHY BROWN (left-right) Robert Pastorelli, Charles Kimbrough, Candice Bergen, Joe Regalbuto, Faith Ford, and Grant Shaud in Murphy Brown (1988).

It was announced today by Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment, and Thom Sherman, Senior Executive Vice President, Programming, that CBS has given a 13-episode, series production commitment to a current day revival of the Network’s classic comedy MURPHY BROWN for the 2018-2019 broadcast season.

Candice Bergen, now age 71, starred in the title role from 1988-1998, will reprise her role. As its 30th-anniversary approaches, MURPHY BROWN returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate.

Warner Bros. Television, producers of the original series, will produce the new multi-camera comedy with original creator Diane English serving as writer/executive producer through her Bend in the Road Productions banner. Bergen will also be an executive producer.

Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) comes to terms with her new producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) on the premiere of MURPHY BROWN a comedy about a high-profile, wildly successful star reporter of a TV news program. Monday, November 14, 1988, at 9PM on CBS. Photo: CBS

During the show’s original 10-year run on CBS, MURPHY BROWN received 62 Emmy nominations (with 18 wins), 15 Golden Globe nominations (with three wins), three Screen Actors Guild awards, five Directors Guild nominations (with two wins) and four Writers Guild nominations (with two wins). Bergen won five Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

In 2010 TV Guide named Murphy Brown one of the “25 Greatest TV Characters of All Time.”

In the third season of “Murphy Brown,” Murphy became pregnant after a one-night stand with her ex-husband. The point was that even an educated, well-off famous person could make a mistake. Murphy’s dilemma was clear: have the baby or have an abortion.On May 18, 1992, Murphy Brown gave birth to a baby boy, and the millions of Americans who watched made it the No. 1-rated sitcom episode of the week. A day later, Daniel Quayle was making a campaign speech, he was well on his way toward making an important statement about the serious responsibility of childbearing and its impact on society when suddenly, he took a hard right turn and squared off against his longtime fictional nemesis by saying that Murphy was “mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it ‘just another lifestyle choice.’ ”

Where Are They Now?

On the evening of March 15, 1999, during an incident at his Hollywood home, Robert Pastorelli‘s 25-year-old girlfriend, Charemon Jonovich, was killed by a gunshot to the head. During the investigation that followed, Pastorelli testified that in the midst of an argument between the two of them, she suddenly produced a handgun and killed herself. The incident was investigated as an accident or suicide, and the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office declared the cause of death undetermined.

Pastorelli was exonerated of responsibility for Charemon Jonovich’s death and received public expressions of sympathy within Hollywood and from the Los Angeles media, but his career went into noticeable decline afterward.

Pastorelli was found dead at his home in Hollywood Hills on March 8, 2004, from a narcotics overdose. At the time of his death, Pastorelli had been forewarned that authorities were planning on arresting him for further questioning. A review of the original evidence of the March 1999 shooting of his girlfriend Charemon Jonovich resulted in her cause of death being reclassified a homicide, and Pastorelli was identified as a prime suspect.

The Coroner’s Office reported Pastorelli died of a “fatal blood concentration of morphine”.

Charles Kimbrough who played the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial is now 81. Kimbrough was part of the cast of the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2012 Broadway revival of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey playing William R. Chumley, M.D., with Jim Parsons in the lead as Elwood P. Dowd. The show ran from June 14 to August 5, 2012, at New York’s Studio 54 Theatre.

Kimbrough’s wife Beth Howland died of lung cancer in December 2015 at the age of 74. Her death was not reported to the media until May 24, 2016.

Joe Regalbuto known for his role as Frank Fontana is now 68. He has directed episodes of Hot in Cleveland and in 2015, he had a guest role as Stuart “Stu” Sloan in the TV series Major Crimes.

Faith Ford, known for her role as Corky Sherwood is 53. After being diagnosed with Grave’s disease, she went on to star on Hope & Faith with Kelly Ripa, ironically, Kelly played the role of Faith, and Faith played Hope.

Grant Shaud is now 56. In recent years he has also done some voice-over work in animation, most notably the television series Batman: The Animated Series. He had a guest role on The Drew Carey Show as a character named Jack, who believed himself to be the devil. He also played Alex Rosetti on the sitcom Madigan Men, starring Gabriel Byrne.

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