‘Murphy Brown’ Revival, 3 More Comedies Canceled at CBS
Creator Diane English and star Candice Bergen had been hoping to do another season of the comedy after it ended its initial 13-episode order. Meanwhile, veteran ‘Life in Pieces’ and rookies ‘Fam’ and ‘Happy Together’ have also been axed.
This just in: CBS’ Murphy Brown will not be returning for another cycle.
The revival from series creator Diane English and featuring star Candice Bergen and much of the original cast has been canceled after one season of the reboot. CBS has also canceled veteran comedy Life in Pieces (ending with season five) and rookies Fam and Happy Together.
The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. TV was picked up straight to series and had been one of the most anticipated new series of the 2018-19 broadcast season. The comedy, co-starring Jake McDorman as Bergen’s onscreen son, was never going to attract scores of younger viewers but ultimately struggled to draw many at any age.
The Murphy Brown revival wrapped its original 13-episode order after drawing the smallest audience on CBS’ Thursday comedy block in the fall. Sources noted that those close to the series were optimistic about getting a back order should the launch have worked. That did not happen and CBS instead opted to take a wait-and-see approach to how its pilots turned out before making a decision on a potential second season of the reboot — or its 12th season overall.
For her part, English told THR after the season finale that she was “optimistic” when it came to doing another season. She hoped to “bring the characters forward” and explore topics including bias. “I’ve already got a yellow pad going with a ton of stuff I’m interested in pursuing, and not all of it is political,” she said in December. “There’s a lot of real personal stories I think I’d like to tell, and I think we hinted at some of them in the finale — a lot of fun stuff and some new stuff for Avery (McDorman). There’s just a lot of stories to tell on that level, too.”
The decision to cancel the comedy arrives as CBS is in its first upfront without CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves having a large role when it comes to the network’s renewals, cancellations and new series pickups. That role now belongs to Showtime’s David Nevins, who was appointed chief creative officer at CBS Corp. in October.
For his part, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl told THR in January that Murphy Brown’s fate was effectively tied to how the network’s comedy and drama pilots turned out as piecing together the new schedule would likely help determine if the network had room for another cycle of Murphy Brown…