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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Murphy Brown is a sitcom about a female news reporter/anchor in a wacky workplace. When the show originally premiered in the '80s, the title character, played by Candice Bergen, made waves as a positive role model for women in the workplace. Brown, a capable and successful reporter, can be pretty sarcastic, and her wry one-liners might fly over the head of younger viewers, and there are some sexy jokes and relationship issues. The show makes frequent references to politicians and other newsmakers of the late '80s and early '90s, which can serve as a gentle history lesson for teens watching now. While it may not seem groundbreaking today, this series, like Mary Tyler Moore before it, changed the game for women on TV.
What's the story?
In the hugely successful sitcom MURPHY BROWN, which enjoyed a 10-year run on CBS, Candice Bergen plays the title character. Murphy is an ace reporter for a network newsmagazine series called FYI who struggles to balance her work and personal lives. Joining Murphy in the studio are Jim (Charles Kimbrough), the uptight senior anchor who's often the butt of Murphy's jokes; Frank (Joe Regalbuto), a reporter, a perennial bachelor, and Murphy's best friend; Corky (Faith Ford), a former Miss America turned journalist; and Miles (Grant Shaud), a young, cocky Harvard graduate who's the show's executive producer.
Is it any good?
The show -- which has often been compared to The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- is smart, the dialogue witty and topical, and the acting top-notch. Bergen won five Emmys for her role on Murphy Brown, and they were well deserved. Adults will howl at Murphy's wry witticisms, but younger viewers might not get the jokes. As the series goes on, the relationships between the characters deepen, and watching co-workers become friends and family is a pleasure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about workplace etiquette in Murphy Brown. How do you do a job well and treat colleagues with respect? If you have a problem with someone you work with, how should you handle it? Is it ever OK to yell at or belittle a co-worker (or a classmate or a friend)?
How is the FYI team like a family? Are people more likely to become close friends with co-workers if they spend long hours at the office?
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