How 'Murphy Brown' Tackled the Midterm Elections

Peter Gallagher guest-starred on the sitcom's take on the upcoming midterm elections.
David Giesbrecht/WBTV

[This story contains spoilers from the Nov. 1 episode of CBS' Murphy Brown.]

Murphy Brown wants you to vote — both the character and the writers of the sitcom. After Thursday's midterm election-themed episode, "Results May Vary," a title card encourages viewers to make sure they make their voices heard: "Elections have consequences. Vote."

The episode features Murphy (Candice Bergen) and her son, Avery (Jake McDorman), co-anchoring their respective cable networks' election coverage. In the early morning before they both go to the studio, Avery does his Donald Trump impression for her — and she isn't amused.

“It’s hard to have a sense of humor when we’re facing one of the most consequential midterms in decades," she tells him, before musing that she is shocked the son Dan Quayle chided her for having is working at a place so conservative.

The series addresses the then-vice president's speech at the time he made it (during the 1992 presidential campaign), but this is the first mention in the revived show's 11th season.

Mother and son make a bet before leaving the house — Avery bets that Murphy will fall asleep while anchoring CNC's coverage, and Murphy bets that liberal Avery will lose his cool at his conservative co-anchors' claims — and went on their way to cover the election.

At CNC, Corky (Faith Ford) remembers her mom taking her to vote as a kid, Frank (Joe Regalbuto) worries about getting cotton mouth, and tech expert Pat (Nik Dodani) is nervous about going on camera for the first time (particularly because he hates his wardrobe). Not surprisingly, he freezes when the camera turns to him for the first time. Phyllis (Tyne Daly) is at CNC with her employee Miguel (Adan Rocha) to help feed the gang.

By 3 p.m., everyone is fading — but Frank is hyped up on energy drinks. Pat changes into his normal hipster clothing and finally shines on camera for the first time, and Miguel, a Dreamer who can't vote, convinces Phyllis to go cast her own.

Over at Wolf Network, Avery anchors alongside the network's superstar John Haggerty (guest-star Peter Gallagher) and a pretty brunette sidekick. President Trump calls in to the show, and Avery calls the president (and his co-anchor) out on lies they've been spreading.

At the end of the episode, both networks are ready to call the election when the final results come in. "Wow," says everyone at both networks.

"I did not see that coming,” muses Frank. Says Murphy, "Welcome to the next two years."

Who won both houses of Congress? Murphy Brown didn't say, opting for the title card instead. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Murphy Brown airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.