'Murphy Brown' Finds Love With Guest-Stars Katie Couric, Bette Midler

The real-life news anchor guest-starred as herself while Midler reprised her role as Murphy's most incompetent assistant.
John Paul Filo/CBS

[This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "A Lifetime of Achievement" episode of CBS' Murphy Brown.]

Murphy Brown’s “A Lifetime of Achievement” saw the Murphy in the Morning gang getting in touch with both their competitive and romantic sides as they sparred with Bette Midler and Katie Couric and found life with John Larroquette and Analeigh Tipton (and, technically, recurring guest-star Charles Kimbrough, who reprised his role as Jim Dial).

The episode featured the entire crew — Murphy (Candice Bergen), Corky (Faith Ford), Frank (Joe Regalbuto), Miles (Grant Shaud), Pat (Nik Dodani), and even Phyllis (Tyne Daly), plus Murphy’s son, Avery (Jake McDorman) — going to a gala where Couric presented Jim with a lifetime achievement award.

They also encountered Caprice Caputowitz Feldman Morton, aka Midler reprising her role as Murphy’s most incompetent assistant (“No skills, loud, ate the tops off of all the muffins,” Murphy lamented), who is now CNC’s largest shareholder after inheriting her late second husband’s stocks.

“I have some fantastic ideas for livening up this brand. We’re going to take boobs, booty and banter all the way to the bank,” she told the gang (before spending the entire gala trying to find a third husband).

Miles, after being dumped by his researcher girlfriend, took Pat, who forced them both to wear colorful suits. It definitely worked for Pat, who reconciled with his ex-boyfriend (and made out with him in Miles’ backseat on the way home), but definitely didn’t for Miles, who did not make the impression he hoped to in the stylish all-red suit.

Jim brought Phyllis, but was scared to call it a date until a pep talk with Murphy made him realize he wasn’t disrespecting his late wife. He and Phyllis bonded over being the black sheeps of their families — “Generations of men who wore suspenders and this rebel who put on a belt,” he told her — and he also made a lovely, emotional speech once Couric presented him with the award.

Frenemies Corky and Couric showed up in the same dress, and though they traded a few catty barbs throughout the night, they ended up getting burgers together after the event (and helping free each other from their Spanx).

Avery and Murphy had a little dust-up before the gala because Avery was bringing a date (and he wanted his mom to date too), played by Tipton. Luckily, the two women got along well when they met (Murphy approved of the Smithsonian archivist and Princeton grad so much they high-fived).

Murphy, meanwhile, met a judge named Nate Campbell (Larroquette) — and things went well, apparently, because she brought him home. Things went less well when Murphy, Avery and their respective companions ran into each other in the living room the morning after. Yes, it was just as awkward as it sounds.

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