Is it too early to start talking about a Murphy Brown season 12 renewal over at CBS? Given that we are many episodes in, we don’t think so! This is a show that entered the fall season with a great deal of hype and expectation, and there was a pretty good reason for that. There was a long time in which the series was off the air and because of that, there are certainly a lot of questions raised about whether or not it could recapture some of its former glory.
To date, it absolutely does feel like the results of the revival experience are mixed. Season 11 is bringing in, on average, a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic coupled with about 6.5 million live viewers. We should note that for total viewers, that’s a pretty solid performance. Even the demo isn’t horrible, though it is lower than many other CBS comedies. It’s not burning down any ratings records, but this show has a steady following and a lot of nostalgia on its side. Beyond just that, we don’t think there is a desire to stop it from continuing now that the ball is rolling. If the cast wants to keep going, we think that also will go a long way with snagging another season. The same goes for whatever the budget is — if it’s not overly expensive to produce, Murphy Brown can have a better chance at more. We don’t think CBS had expectations that were through the roof when they scheduled the series for Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. It’s hardly a banner timeslot for the majority of the shows that are on the air.
For the time being, we don’t think it’s crazy to believe that a season 12 renewal will happen, especially if Murphy Brown merits some awards consideration or if it keeps this number up until the finale. Granted, at a certain point the question becomes whether or not CBS has a another show that will perform better, but we’re not altogether sure that they do for this time in the fall. This is a solid performer and beyond that, the format allows for them to take on timely, original stories that other shows do not. Also remember that this show, with a female lead, is bringing in a different perspective to a network where the majority of the shows are fronted by a man. We do think that giving America that different voice is appreciated.
So call us cautiously optimistic here, but remember that CBS will, more than likely, not make a decision on the future of Murphy Brown until we get around to some point in the spring … largely due to the fact that there’s no reason for them to rush into doing something otherwise. Why bother to do that when they’ve got other shows to test out at midseason?
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