Picks and Pans Review: Murphy Brown

updated 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Mon., Nov. 14, 9 p.m. ET)

B+

This show has possibilities. No, it's better than that. It has probabilities. Murphy Brown is everything that the latest Mary Tyler Moore show (and the last one) should have been: witty, wry and well written. In her sitcom debut, Candice Bergen plays the tough and lovely co-anchor of a 20/20-esque show called FYI. She just returned from the Betty Ford Clinic, cleansed of all vices but one: She chews pencils. Things changed while she was away. A vapid former Miss America (Faith Ford) is now a co-anchor. "How do you pronounce this word?" Ford asks. "Shiite," Bergen answers. "Whew," Ford says, "that could have been real embarrassing." And a mere kid (Grant Shaud) is now FYI's producer. "While I was getting maced at the Democratic convention in '68," Bergen complains to her new boss, "you were wondering if you'd ever meet Adam West." Bergen isn't the only one who gets good lines. Her secretary is a media critic (isn't everybody these days?). And her housepainter is putting a mural of the industrial revolution on her kitchen ceiling. But what I probably like best about Murphy Brown is her interviewing style. She actually asks tough questions. Hardly anybody does that on TV anymore—at least not on TV's many reality shows, only on its sitcoms. Murphy Brown is a show worth keeping an eye on. This looks like the hidden treat of the season.

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