Extremely low ratings for "Murphy Brown" revival....

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by TJames03, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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  2. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have fond memories of the original series, but this revival script (at least the first episode) seemed like a first draft rather than a finished product. It felt...rough, as if they rushed it to production, when I know full well they had plenty of time to work on the concept.

    I knew there would be a certain amount of Trump-bashing, but I banked on how original MB made an effort to make fun of politicians from both sides of the aisle. Lord knows they all make it easy to make fun of them. I hope future scripts will focus more on the characters rather than current events. "Jim" is supposed to guest-star in the third episode, and I will at least stick around to see him.

    The ratings were also likely a victim of being scheduled against Thursday Night Football.
     
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Unlike WILL & GRACE who looked the same as when they did the first version of the show, the MURPHY BROWN cast seem fresh from their rockers and shawls on a front porch someplace.

    MB was okay, but the old show aged in a not great way, and, like Bergen's delivery, became a bit too one-note in tone. So I'm not surprised if this reboot doesn't work.
     
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  4. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it will do fine as a 13-episode, one-season revival (or even 22 if things pick up, ratings-wise), but not as a series attempting to have a long run like the original version. Some nostalgia is best in small doses. No one has even said whether they expect (or want) it to catch on and become a fixture on the schedule, and I don't think any of them would be hurting if they turned this into a one-and-done effort.

    I'm still chuckling to myself at the image of poor Miles as the EP of The View for two years. Poor guy ended up in "a facility"...but then, who wouldn't? By the end of his run, he must have been shaking like Don Knotts and chugging Pepto-Bismol by the gallon.
     
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  5. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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  6. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Me, too.

    There's no sign of it being on here yet but I'd really like to see this do well - especially in light of the Rosanne debacle.
     
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  7. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There are some problems that need to be ironed out--I won't deny that. I was so anxious to recapture that period that I was probably looking through rose-colored glasses.
    The tempo of the show is very old-school: joke, pause for laugh track, recite next line, wait to laugh track, lather rinse repeat. I can forgive that, since that was how sitcoms played back then, but it can be...irritating? to people accustomed to the one-camera sitcoms where there is no laugh track or studio audience. I also have yet to feel that Murphy's new gig (the "CNC network") is a real place, since we didn't get any real insight into the production of her show or what it was like as we did with FYI. There was only the briefest production meeting (in contrast to the fun, funny if often argumentative meetings they always had in the original), and they did not introduce us to the crew members like they did in the original...all of which made it feel like real people at a real network. I was kind of hoping they'd bring back Carl, the cameraman who had a huge crush on Murphy. They briefly introduced a social-media expert who will be working with Murphy's show; I hope his character will do more than he did in the premiere, which was to make the other characters feel old and out of the loop.

    It might take a few more episodes to work out the kinks. The problem is that there's only 13 episodes (at least that's the plan so far), and one's already done. I assume they're going to do more with the "gap" time, the period after the original series ended and the present*, with revelations as amusing as the two debilitating years Miles spent being tortured by those cackling hens at The View. Jim's supposed to pop up (not as a regular, but in a guest-star gig**) in an episode or two, so maybe that's when we will hear what ultimately caused FYI to go off the air. I like how well they developed the character of Avery, who will likely serve several functions in the show, such as the Eldin-type character who serves as Murphy's sounding board, as well as the show's "token dissenting voice," since he seems less strident in his liberalism than Murphy, and of course he represents the younger generation who grew up in a very different political/media climate. If Candice Bergen were to decide to have a one-and-done season of MB, I could see them developing a spin-off around his character, which might allow her and the others to appear less frequently but keep that "universe" alive.

    * But unless I am mistaken, they're not in the "exact" present, but at some point in 2017, since they started with the 2016 election, then claimed it took "a few months" to get the gang back together to start Murphy In the Morning, not two years.
    ** Charles Kimbrough has been retired from acting for quite some time, so getting him to appear at all was quite a "get" for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  8. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It's pretty obvious that CBS had no faith in this show drawing in the viewers to begin with otherwise they wouldn't have put it in a 9:30 slot after the much better Mom. Had they had faith in the show they would've put to lead of an hour, even trying to revive their failing Monday block.
     
  9. Gabriel Maxwell

    Gabriel Maxwell Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    "Extremely low"? Oh, good lord no. After two airings, it's CBS' #9 (out of 19) shows:

    https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/cbs-2018-19-season-ratings/

    No, it didn't start with a big bang, but "extremely low" is completely inaccurate. So far it has scored mediocre ratings.

    Meanwhile, "Will & Grace" has cooled off considerably. It's season 10 premiere last night scored the exact same 1.0 rating as "Murphy Brown" last night:

    http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/the-sked-thursday-network-scorecard-10-4-2018.html

    And that makes "Will & Grace" NBC's #8 show (out of 11 that have premiered so far this fall):

    https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/nbc-2018-19-season-ratings/
     
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  10. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I probably should have noticed it earlier, but CBS likely scheduled MB in that slot to make it easier for the nostalgic types to watch two revivals: W&G at 9pm on NBC, and MB at 9:30 on CBS. I fell out of love with W&G long before it left the air the first time, so it does not really register on my radar.

    Last night's episode? Ehh...I was really hoping this latest round of "Murphy schemes to get into a White House press event despite being banned" would live up to the memorable stunts of the past, but this one fell flat with me because she only wanted to get preachy in the press room and somehow make a statement that no one else hadn't already made. It was so much more fun when she was scheming in a competitive way, just to get one over on the other reporters to "get a scoop". Her competitiveness with the top reporters of that time got her into a thousand funny situations and made the laughs come from Murphy's own character faults. Now they just reinforce this idea that she's on some kind of personal, moral crusade against the President (or in this case, against Sarah Sanders). That might be why Diane English decided to bring the show back, but Murphy Brown (the character) was so much more than a mouthpiece for Diane English's personal politics.

    Murphy's determination to get into the WH Press Room might have been more meaningful if she had been working on an expose-type story and needed Sanders to provide some sound byte--the sort of "dog with a bone" determination that we saw in OG Murphy. Instead, it looked as if she only went because she was jealous of her own son (!!) getting to attend that same press briefing, since she didn't really have a meaningful/useful 'question' to ask even if she had been called on. And as they covered in the final scene, all she accomplished with her lecture toward Sarah Sanders was to endanger Avery's future chances of being admitted.
     
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  11. Frank Under The Mistletoe

    Frank Under The Mistletoe Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I consider myself on the left, but this Murphy Brown revival seems geared towards Hillary cultists who believe our troubles begin and end with Donald Trump.

    I watched the first two episodes, and it's a hard pass from me. I'm no fan of Trump, but this type of "comedy" is just low hanging fruit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  12. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    I want to like this due to the amazing cast, but the writing is pretty terrible. I also think it was a mistake to bring back the entire old cast in their same roles instead of placing Murphy on a show with some new personalities to interact with. With that said, I do plan on sticking with it in hopes it picks up.

    Also, this thread is wrong about the ratings. As old as the characters are I wouldn’t have expected Roseanne numbers. Plus I’m week two they kept almost their entire audience. If that continues it’s a hit.
     
  13. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    The ratings are unimpressive, but also stable basically. I guess that's better than debuting big and falling off a cliff - Will & Grace is now 3.40 million viewers and 0.8 in the main 18-49 demographic; Murphy Brown has been stable for three episodes around 7 million viewers (7.50 -> 7.12 -> 6.76) and starting at 1.0 in the main demo (1.1 -> 1.0 -> 1.0). CBS has a stronger comedy schedule on Thursdays though than NBC does.
     
  14. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    From my experience watching such things, networks would prefer a show that might be lower-rated but stable in its ratings over a show that has lots of peaks and valleys in its ratings. The ad buyers like predictability. If you promise XYZ Inc. that a show will get 1 million viewers, and can demonstrate the show gets that audience every week, they will more likely buy ad time than if a show gets 1 million one week, 500k the next, 700k the next, etc. Networks typically have to reimburse ad buyers (like agreeing to air the ads more times than their earlier agreement) if the show did not deliver the number of viewers it was supposed to. The network also wants to make every possible dollar, so if they sell a block of commercial time at a "million-viewer" rate and the show actually gets 2 million viewers, that's perceived as money lost (since they could have sold that block at the more lucrative 2-million rate). So while they always want high-rated hits, there is also value placed on predictable, solid shows that may not set the ratings on fire.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  15. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    True and here's a C+3 (Essentially Same Day viewers + three days within watching delayed) advertisers predictions:

    https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/tv...ight-football-saturday-night-live-1202917762/

    Murphy is at 1.21 - considering it's averaging on 1.0 it's likely matching that on C+3 so far. I really doubt CBS or advertisers had a lot of faith in this. Scheduling contradicts it, predictions contradicts it.
     
  16. Treeviewer

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    The first two episodes have been on.

    There's been a lot of criticism that it's old fashioned and the sitcom style is stale but I think that misses the point. These show are being revived because they are still popular and there's an audience for more. To change the format would be to defeat the purpose.

    That said, I think the small updates have worked well, especially the now-adult Avery in place of Elden as Murphy's confidant away from the office. Also a good decision not to replace Jim with another mentor character but introduce the younger social media expert. Murphy is the older mentor character now.

    Tyne Daly as Phil's sister was a nice surprise. I hadn't seen that anywhere.
     
  17. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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  18. Dalek Avery

    Dalek Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not cancelled. They've just decided not to order additional episodes, and will wait until Spring to decide whether to do another season. As the posts above already explain, CBS only bought a 13-episode season. I read elsewhere that the show costs a bit more because they film it in New York rather than LA, so 13 may have been all they could afford to produce, or perhaps 70-something Candice Bergen only signed on for a limited run.

    I had high hopes for the show, but I must admit I've fallen out of love with it now that they're so stridently one-sided in their politics. The producers obviously are preaching to the choir (accent on "preach") and they have every right to do as they wish. I have the right to turn the channel.
     
  19. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Not renewing is a nice way of saying cancelled.
     
  20. Michael Yule Torrance

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    The Hollywood reporter article mentions that " the rebooted series was always intended to be a closed-ended order of 13 episodes." Now, I am sure that if the show had done better in the ratings CBS would have changed their tune, but the article does give them a way to save face. Nonetheless, CBS run quite the ad campaign for the show--at one point you could not board a bus in NYC without seeing Bergen's puffy face plastered all over--so I know they were hoping that they would have the success with it which ABC had with the revived Roseanne. Of course Roseanne finished its 10th and final (original) season at #3 and Murphy Brown at #69, so I don't know what CBS was expecting.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/l...happy-together-end-initial-orders-cbs-1164428
     
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