If Murphy Brown were made today:
The show would be called Corky. The woman who was the butt of jokes for her shallowness and awkward, unsophisticated foray into adult realms and conversations would now be the star. Her quirky, girlish, giggling attempts to break into the world of
crusty has-beens experienced news reporters would have us all rooting for her.
She and Miles would indeed end up married, but their on-again, off-again romance would have been the focus of the show, and the workplace the background.
Miles would be less smart and more 99-pound weakling. He would forever be learning from Corky’s down-home folksy wisdom, despite his Ivy League education.
Frank Fontana would be portrayed as a chain-wearing pot-head who longs for the days of revolution and upheaval. Real news! He’d sign off “This is Frank Fontana. Peace out!”
Jim would be put into a lot of modern situations to highlight exactly how old fashioned, and therefore uncool and incompetant he is. Jim raps! Jim argues with his GPS! Jim accidentally opens an account on “Manjam.com” because he thinks it’s about men who like to…wait for it…make jam. Jim and his wife would have kids who are ridiculously hip, to his great consternation. Generation gap!!!
Phil would be Dr. Phil, is wisdom being in the affairs of the heart, because political humor offends people. He would offer Corky and Miles sage advice on just letting it happen, which they ignore! Because hapless!
And Murphy? Murphy would be the butt of jokes, the old rhino in the office, whose sarcasm and jaded view of the world, whose biting and incisive approach to interviews would be seen as unfeminine and representative of an age gone by.
When women were tough and it was ok for a female lead character to have quirks rooted in something other than insecurity.
It would suck.
(Confession: in a city where shows are lovingly given improv/sketch/musical comedy treatment, I would kill to do a Murphy Brown Musical.)