Murphy Brown s01e01 Episode Script

Respect

What a bunch of bull.
First, they didn't write about the interview she did with the Sandinistas.
Second, she stood Warren Beatty up, he didn't stand her up.
And thirdly, what kind of ties are these? I thought wide was out.
You know, when they asked me to fill in for Murphy, I couldn't believe it.
It was kind of like that time when I became Miss America.
- Did I ever tell you about that? - Oh, yeah.
Exciting story.
So who wants to put a little money down here? I say Murphy comes back a changed woman.
It was so incredible when they announced my name.
"First runner-up, Corky Sherwood.
" Murphy will never change.
Once a pain in the butt, always a pain in the butt.
Jim, we are talking a month at the Betty Ford Center.
You saw my segment on that place.
They knock the stuffing out of you.
Come on.
Ten bucks.
But then I got that phone call.
It's always very sad when Miss America falls from grace.
Although when she said she loved animals, no one took her literally.
- Did I ever tell you what she did? - What a mind picture.
It's 9:30.
At 10:00, Murphy Brown is going to get off that elevator, late as usual.
She'll insult at least three people, grab a cup of coffee and bum a cigarette.
Then she will lock herself in her office until she comes up with the perfect piece for next week's show, as usual.
You're on.
- All right.
- Wait.
I have to get my checkbook.
Hi, everybody.
Great dress, Elise.
Hey, Frank, nice piece you did on that prostitution ring.
Jim, what have you done to your hair? I like it.
- Coffee, Ms.
Brown? - No, thank you.
- I'm going to miss her.
- Me too.
Okay! Which one of you turkeys got their greasy fingerprints all over my Emmy? All right! She's back! It was you, wasn't it, Frank? - You were fondling it while I was gone.
- I couldn't help myself.
It was wearing a dress.
It had breasts.
We talked.
We hit it off.
You're very strange, and I actually missed you.
Thanks for sending me the Chippendales calendar.
Mr.
March got me through August.
I am proud of you, Murph.
You came out the other side.
Frank, I haven't had a drink in over a month.
I haven't had a cigarette in three weeks, four hours and 22 minutes.
I've been pleasant.
I've been polite.
Don't ever tell anybody this, okay? - I did aerobics.
- No.
I left every vice I have at that place, except for chewing pencils.
I can't live without the taste of a number 2 soft, Frank.
I've got to have it.
I wouldn't let them break me.
It's okay, Murph.
You've gotta hold on to something.
Boy, being away from this place was like cutting off my oxygen.
- So how bad did the ratings drop? - They didn't.
- No, really.
- No, I'm telling you.
We killed the competition last week.
Believe me, it was heavy.
There was a Partridge Family reunion special and Emmanuel Lewis in an ALF two-parter.
I gotta go meet my film crew.
Listen, later on, I'll buy you a drink We'll have some lunch Nice lunch.
Ms.
Brown.
Hi.
I just wanted to come up and introduce myself.
- Miles Silverberg.
- Hello.
- Did you want an autograph? - Autograph? Autograph, no.
- I'm Miles Silverberg.
- Right.
Silverberg, Miles.
You said that.
- The new executive producer of FYI.
- Excuse me? - I said, I'm the new executive producer - Wait.
They replaced Arvin with you? You're Miles Silverberg? Yes.
Yes, Miles Silverberg.
- Let me say what a big fan - Do you know who The Shirelles are? Excuse me? The Shirelles? - The Ronettes? The Delfonics? - It's only my second day.
- How old are you? - Twenty-five.
What's your background? - Master's degree from Harvard Business - Working background.
- Three years in public television - It's getting worse.
I'm sorry, Mr.
Silverberg, if it appears I'm being rude to you.
I can't help thinking about the fact that while I got Maced at the '68 Democratic Convention you were wondering if you'd ever meet Adam West.
Look, I can understand this reaction.
I know how much you loved and admired Arvin.
But the man retired.
He did.
The show needs new blood.
Are you the same new blood who thought it was good to have a former Miss America, who won by default, no less, fill in for me? Oh, no.
Definitely not.
I'm the one who decided she should join you, Frank and Jim on a permanent basis.
Are you kidding me? The woman has no journalism background.
Think back.
Atlantic City, 1982.
The talent competition.
Corky Sherwood walks out on-stage and coordinates a closet.
Doesn't that tell you something? Who knew where she was gonna put those last two dresses? Ms.
Brown, she's been testing through the roof.
You can't ignore that.
Oh, yeah? I've got news for you.
Hi.
I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
But I just wanted to say, Murphy, what a pleasure it is to meet you and tell you that I will be honored to be sitting beside you every Wednesday night.
And if I can be even one-tenth the journalist you are, I have reached my goal.
Because you, Murphy, are the best.
Gee, thank you very much.
That's really sweet.
Miles, how do you pronounce this word? "Shiite.
" That could have been real embarrassing.
Women 18 to 34 are writing to her for hairstyling tips.
- She thinks Camus is a soap.
- Come on, Ms.
Brown.
I'm just asking for the chance to impress you.
It takes a lot to impress me.
Okay, how about this? I have landed you maybe the biggest interview of the year.
Unless you're talking about Bobby Powell, I'm not impressed.
Bingo.
- You're kidding.
- Nope.
Look here on my date book.
- What does that say? - "Buy tampons.
" Above that.
"First order of business, land Bobby Powell.
" they're all trying to snag this guy.
- How did you do it? - Well, it wasn't easy.
I'm looking at you in a totally new way, Miles.
I mean, there are always compromises we have to make along the way.
Of course.
I just finished graduate work in compromise.
So, what kind of compromise? No big deal.
I had to promise Bobby Powell that you wouldn't ask him "the" question.
You promised Powell I wouldn't ask him if he had an affair with a married woman who happens to be running for vice president of the United States? So, what's your point? What are we running here? Do I look like Robin Leach? Forget it.
I can't do the interview.
See, I have this reputation, which I'm very proud of.
I've never done an interview with my hands tied, and I'm not about to start.
I'll come back after you've had a chance to mull this over.
I think it went well, don't you? Ms.
Brown? Hi.
I'm Sherry French, your new secretary.
- What happened to my old secretary? - She left to sell Herbalife.
Well, welcome aboard, Sherry.
Do me a favor, will you? Get rid of these things for me.
And bring me some fresh pencils, number 2 soft.
A lot of them.
Ms.
Brown, I couldn't help overhearing what you and Mr.
Silverberg were talking about.
I think you made a very big mistake passing on that interview.
You can't just categorize things as black or white.
Issues facing the media now are often very gray.
Do you mind if I sit in your chair for a minute? I just wanna see what it feels like.
Sherry doesn't work here anymore.
This is Robert.
Well, I'm sorry, but Ms.
Brown is on the phone with the secretary of state right now.
Who is this? Yes, yes.
Hold on.
I'll tell her you're on.
Oh, come on, Mr.
Secretary, you're not backing out on me, are you? Look.
We can pre-tape in the morning and I'll have you on a plane to Helsinki in the afternoon.
Come on.
I'll do my Ted Koppel impression.
Excuse me.
An urgent call just came in.
I'm going to have to get back to you.
Thank you, Mr.
Secretary.
Eldin Bernecky? Okay, you were supposed to show up to paint the inside of my house two weeks ago.
I left the keys with my neighbor.
She said you arrived late, spread out your drop cloth ordered a pizza and never came back.
You may get away with this sort of thing with other people but I am definitely not other people.
Murphy Brown.
I'm on TV.
Look, be there tomorrow morning ready to paint, or I'll sue your overalls off.
No, I don't know Heather Locklear.
Robert? - I'm sorry.
Did I scare you? - No.
Would you see if you can get the first lady for me, please? - Of the United States? - That's right.
- You can do this, Robert.
- Yes, I know.
Just give me a minute.
- Murphy.
- You again.
I spoke with Bobby Powell.
He'd like you to do the interview.
But if not, he's gonna give it to Jane Pauley.
The big J? We're talking about full-page ads in newspapers across the country a guaranteed 40 share.
You know, this may sound awfully old-fashioned to someone who'd wear a tie like that - It's new.
Do you like it? - No.
My dad once told me never to do anything that didn't feel right.
This doesn't feel right.
So if you want me to do it, you'll have to call my dad and clear it with him.
What's your father's phone number? Bobby's available for lunch today.
You should meet.
You don't give up, do you? - I'll be back.
- I know.
Murphy, I heard you turn that interview down.
And I just want to say, I would have done exactly the same thing.
Hey, Miles.
- Close the door! - Okay, okay.
- Murphy, welcome back.
- Hey, Phil.
Bobby Powell isn't here yet.
But I saved you your favorite table where you gave Ed Meese the Heimlich maneuver.
Memories.
What can I get you? - How about a designer water? - Good for you.
One designer water coming right up.
- How's little Phil? - Oh, he's fine.
- Big Phil? - Just fine.
- Phil senior? - Still going strong, knock wood.
Phyllis says to say hello.
Close the door! There he is.
Bobby Powell.
Doesn't look like I thought.
- Kind of shy-looking.
- Yeah, right.
Well, this'll take about two seconds.
Bobby Powell, Murphy Brown.
Ms.
Brown, it's a pleasure to meet you.
Really a pleasure.
Thanks for agreeing to see me.
I know how busy you are.
- Why don't we have a seat over here.
- Okay.
Nothing, thanks.
You know, Ms.
Brown, a lot of people are offering me a lot of money to tell my story.
Now, I don't know if this will make any sense to you but I'm not interested in the money.
I just want the story told straight.
That's why I picked you.
Everybody knows you're the best.
You're pretty smooth, Mr.
Powell.
I bet that sheepish grin of yours got you pretty far.
Pretty far? You know what happened to me this morning? - I got let go from my job.
- You did? Yeah.
Too much bad publicity.
My friends don't call me anymore.
I can't walk out on the street without being stared at.
Mr.
Powell, you haven't experienced pain until The National Enquirer puts your head on Pia Zadora's body.
You got yourself involved with Gwen Lansing who happens to be married with two kids and may end up running this country one day.
I think you've both got to expect a little publicity.
And frankly, Mr.
Powell, I think publicity is exactly what you're after.
You know, I thought you'd be different.
I really did.
You've made up your mind about me already.
I didn't think the press was supposed to do that.
Did you sleep with Gwen Lansing? Do you think America has the right to know everything? No.
Neither do I.
You know, Ms.
Brown, there's another reason why I picked you.
You know what it's like to have a whole country pass judgment on you.
- I see you've been reading your tabloids.
- That's why I thought you'd understand.
Look, all I want is a chance to tell my story with some kind of dignity.
But it looks like these days that's just too much to ask.
Thanks for your time.
- So, what's the story? - Well, he wasn't what I expected.
You gonna do the interview? I'm gonna do the interview.
Okay, Mr.
Bernecky, this is Murphy Brown again.
You were supposed to show up to paint the inside of my house this morning.
I was there.
You weren't.
You blew it.
Oh, and change the message on this phone machine.
Nobody likes listening to "Margaritaville" for 5 minutes.
Robert? I'm fine.
Would you return these to the tape library for me, please? I can't take it.
I can't take the pressure.
I'm like one raw, pulsating nerve.
I feel the veins in my head pressing against the inside of my skull and expanding until they're ready to explode.
It's too much.
It's just too much.
Robert? Maybe you should go back to sports.
Yes, I think that would be good for me now that the Olympics are over.
- Say, slugger, how's it going? - Great.
See the ad in this morning's paper? - Big.
- Right.
Say, Jim, can I buy you a cup of coffee? There's something I wanted to ask you.
Sure.
This is kind of hard for me.
Well I'll just jump in.
Have you ever felt really nervous before a big interview? I don't mean like when you were first starting out.
That's expected.
I mean have you ever felt not like yourself? Like you went through something that changed you.
You wonder if you've lost the thing that made you special and you won't be able to pull it off, and everyone will see through you and you'll fail in front of millions of people? No.
- Thanks for the talk, Jim.
- You bet.
The university called to confirm your luncheon date.
Lecture date.
- Yes.
On the 16th.
- The 15th.
Yes.
And then you got a call from a Muammar somebody.
- Qaddafi? - Right.
I knew he was Italian.
- Mrs.
Caldwell? - Yes, dear.
- Never mind.
- Right.
Hi, I was told to see the executive producer.
That's me.
Miles Silverberg.
- You're Miles Silverberg? - I skipped a grade in high school.
This is Jerry Weiss and Steve Katzman, my agents.
Dan Palmer and Tom Jacobson, my attorneys, and Eric Leahy, my publicist.
- Nice suits.
- Thanks.
We're gonna need you to step over here, please.
- We got about a minute till airtime.
- Hello again.
- Hi.
- This is really something.
Me and Murphy Brown on live television, prime time.
How many people do you think will be watching tonight? - A lot.
- Feel okay? - Yeah.
- Remember what I said.
Don't divert your eyes too much.
It looks dishonest.
Let the camera pick up your natural charisma.
Everything goes well, tomorrow we make that major deal with the Aramis people.
- Can we talk about that later? - Oh, sure.
Hi, I'm a big fan.
Nice teeth.
We made a deal with Bobby Powell.
Don't worry, Miles.
I'm cool.
It's the new me.
- Ten seconds to airtime.
- We're gonna be great.
Forty share, guaranteed.
Five seconds to airtime.
Four, three, two Good evening, and welcome to FYI.
For your information tonight Frank Fontana exposes new chemical dumping in the Niagara River while Corky Sherwood reports on the darker side of liposuction.
At the top of our show this evening, a special interview.
Murphy Brown talks with a very talked-about man, Bobby Powell.
Until a month ago, no one knew his name.
This photograph changed his life and perhaps the direction of a presidential campaign.
This evening, Murphy Brown talks with Bobby Powell live.
Murphy.
Thanks, Jim.
Let's start with the question everyone's asking: Did you sleep with Gwen Lansing or not? I had to ask the question, you know.
It's in my genes.
And also, I have very bad PMS.
That's it, 25 and all washed-up.
Wait a minute.
This is not the Miles Silverberg I know.
You know, I hate to admit it, but you really pulled one off tonight.
Frank's piece was one of the better examples of investigative reporting I've seen in a long time.
I know it was your idea.
And let's face it.
You pretty much blew the doors off the fat-sucking business.
I think you ought to fight for your job, Miles.
I'll help you do it.
- You're kidding.
Why? - I don't know.
Don't push it, okay? Who am I trying to kid? I'm way over my head.
You wanna know something? I've been in over my head since the day I invited Joel Shaw to my junior prom.
He was 35 at the time.
You can't always play by the rules, Miles.
Taking risks is how I got here.
Although lately, I've been wondering what to do for an encore.
And? Well, maybe running my own country is unrealistic.
So I've set new goals, like, "Live through this day.
" "Keep a plant for more than two weeks.
" "Get a date on Saturday night.
" You know, I haven't had a date in over a month, Miles and you're starting to look real good.
Jeez.
Murphy, the boss-employee thing I don't know - I was kidding.
- I knew that.
Any chance I can buy you a pizza? - I've got a few ideas for next week's show.
- You're on.
Miles, if we're gonna be working together, you've gotta brush up on your Motown.
Seriously, those raisins didn't invent that song.
I'm Eldin, the painter.
You scared the hell out of me! I gotta tell you, you were getting much better at the end.
What are you doing here? I fired you.
I just finished your kitchen ceiling.
Come see if you like it.
Come on.
- It's a mural.
- Scenes from the Industrial Revolution.
I took a chance.
- I like it.
- Well, then I must continue.
I was just about to start a cotton gin.
Hey, wait a minute.
It's after midnight.
I got stuff to do.
Oh, that's no problem.
But if you could just keep the music down because sometimes it's hard for me to concentrate.
I hope you don't plan on moving soon or nothing.
Oh, I'm gonna be here a while.
You know, 30 million people watched me on television tonight.
Yeah? I won 10 bucks at lotto.