“We did do something in the first episode” to acknowledge Franklin’s passing, creator Diane English confirms for TVLine. The chart-topping “Queen of Soul” died last month at the age of 76.
Franklin’s music was a huge part of the original Murphy Brown, with her iconic song “Respect” being featured in the pilot episode and Candice Bergen’s title character (a big fan of Franklin’s) singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” to her infant son in the Season 4 finale. Franklin herself even guest-starred in a 1991 episode, singing a duet alongside Bergen:
The premiere episode of CBS’ Murphy Brown revival — with Bergen and original cast members Joe Regalbuto (Frank Fontana), Faith Ford (Corky Sherwood) and Grant Shaud (Miles Silverberg) reprising their roles — airs next Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9:30/8:30c. In it, Murphy comes out of retirement to host a new cable news program, Murphy in the Morning, along with her old FYI pals. To whet your appetite, CBS All Access has added 18 classic episodes of the original Murphy Brown to its streaming library for a limited time.