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As fans of the political sitcom's original are likely to recall, the character of Murphy Brown was (and still is) a massive fan of the music icon Aretha Franklin. The singer passed away in August, and the show has confirmed the narrative will pay tribute to her. Murphy Brown creator Diane English confirmed to TVLine that the revival would "do something" in acknowledgment of Franklin's passing during the premiere episode. Exactly what that "something" is remains a mystery for now, since English did not go into further detail on how the sitcom would honor the Grammy winning legend, mainly confirming that a tribute would indeed take place.
Viewers of the original run are likely to recall the iconic singer and her music being an integral part of Murphy Brown's life across the series. Aretha Franklin's hits were played during several milestone episodes. Arguably Franklin's biggest hit, "Respect," was featured in the original series' pilot back in 1988. And Franklin made a guest appearance in Episode 9 of Season 4. In the scene, Franklin starred as herself and performed "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" with just Murphy in attendance.
And Murphy could not help singing along with the music legend. Later in the season, the sitcom called back to that very scene with Aretha Franklin as Murphy sang a rendition of the song to her then-infant season, Avery, during the Season 4 finale. One of the most touching moments of the series, it also remains one of the scenes that fans remember most.
Given the original series' propensity for such moments, it would not be out of the question for Murphy Brown to have Candice Bergen once again singing or humming one of Franklin's famous hits. The show could also do a monologue with Murphy recalling the memorable scene mentioned above, or to have her share with her now grown-up son Avery the story of those melody-filled minutes after he came into the world. It would be a moment that would pay spoken respect to the songstress.
Aretha Franklin made her guest appearance roughly 27 years ago, back in 1991. The show went off the air seven years later, in 1998, and is making its return to CBS 20 years after that. Though it's sadly without Franklin alive to make another guest appearance. Fans will not have to wait much longer to wait to see how Murphy Brown pays tribute to Franklin, at least.