Anti-Trump ‘Murphy Brown’ Reboot Goes After Sarah Sanders
Political series on CBS worked actual footage of White House press secretary into its second episode
The “Murphy Brown” reboot on CBS continued its political streak in its second episode this week.
After featuring Hillary Clinton with an embarrassing cameo in the premiere episode, “Murphy Brown” worked real footage of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders into its second.
The episode, titled “I (Don’t) Heart Huckabee,” sees the show’s main character, journalist Murphy Brown (played by Candice Bergen), sneak into a White House press briefing and go on a rant against Sanders and the way she performs her job.
And why must Brown sneak into a press briefing? Because she’s been banned from them. When her identity is revealed, she embarrasses her son, who works for a conservative news network — and Sanders is seen calling the behavior “really inappropriate.”
Murphy responds, “If you really want to talk about what’s inappropriate, how about the way you do your job? The role of the White House press secretary is to create transparency in the government and tell the American people the truth, but that’s not what happens in this room.”
Brown then specifically mentions Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation and families of illegal immigrants being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It all comes down to the same thing,” Brown says. “So here’s my question: Why do you lie?”
Footage of Sanders then shows the press secretary trying to move on from the line of questioning.
Murphy keeps pushing forward by saying, “The most basic principle of journalistic integrity, to report the facts, is totally out of reach. If we can’t get to the truth, why are we even here?”
The fictional journalist then tries to lead the rest of the gathered press out of the room in protest, though it doesn’t quite work out the way she hoped.
Diane English, the show’s creator, told Vulture recently about the difficult process of working real footage of Sanders into her show.
“We dedicated one of our writer’s assistants to pulling every press conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” she said. “We found five of them where she was wearing the same dress and her hair was the same, so we had a lot of choices for facial expressions and words.”
The show also hired a body double to help with the process.
Hillary Clinton’s cameo in the first episode of “Murphy Brown” was embarrassing — but this faked cameo in the second episode was just desperate and more than a little corny.
The reboot of “Murphy Brown” has so far only earned modest numbers.
The premiere episode nabbed 7.4 million viewers (low for the CBS network) and a 1.1 rating in the much-coveted 18-49 demographic.
The second episode earned 7.2 million viewers and a 1.0 rating.
To give those numbers a bit more context, the revival of “Roseanne” debuted to 18.4 million viewers and a 5.2 rating.
Check out the Sarah Sanders clip from “Murphy Brown,” below: