During the CBS panel on this year’s Television Critics Association’s winter tour, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl addressed the future of Murphy Brown, via Hollywood Reporter.
Murphy Brown likely didn’t perform the way you would have hoped. Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently? Why do you think it didn’t find a larger audience?
No. It actually improved the time period from a year prior. I heard from people that they really enjoyed the show. [Creator] Diane English came to us and said this was the show she wanted to do and we let her do that show. I think she would agree with that. It was a very fun show to be involved with and it certainly remains in contention for next year.
I’d heard from sources that multiple people associated with the production wanted some sort of additional episode order beyond the initial 13 it was picked up for. But in success, had Murphy Brown delivered a Roseanne-like rating, would you have done a back order?
Diane and Warner Bros. TV came to us from minute one and said we’d like to do 13 episodes of the show — and only 13 episodes of the show. We understood we were doing 13 episodes of the show and planned it that way. There was really no talk of anything beyond that because that’s what we understood; that was the deal with the show when it came to us.
So even if it popped, you would not have ordered one, two or five more?
I stick with what I just said.
Would you want another 13 or a shorter order?
It depends. You get to May [upfronts] and you have to look at all the pieces in contention and piece together a new season. You have to try to make everything fit the schedule to the best of your ability.