Hillary Clinton is back and people are still voting against her.
The former secretary of State made a surprise cameo on the “Murphy Brown” reboot this week. The premiere drew lackluster ratings right out of the gate. Clinton’s touch remains less than golden.
The new “Murphy Brown” earned plenty of hype and press coverage, but the early results hardly reflect that.
The heavily buzzed 9:30 p.m. premiere … was watched by 7.4 million viewers and had a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 — the softest of the network’s two-hour comedy block.
By comparison, 2017’s return of Will & Grace on NBC after 11 years off the air had more than 10 million viewers and a strong 3.0 rating in the demo.
The show, reborn after a 20-year hiatus, joined The Resistance from the opening bell. Reviews cited how the new show attacked President Trump, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Steve Bannon in the first three installments.
Said critics also trashed the show as preachy, stale, and teeming with “clapter” jokes meant to provide virtue signaling and little else.
So who else would they turn to but Clinton to punch up the premiere episode?
The new “Murphy Brown” exists, in part, because previous reboots scored huge numbers for their respective networks. ABC’s “Roseanne” 2.0 drew a whopping 18 million viewers earlier this year. The ratings diminished from there, but they remained strong until the show’s star sent out a racially-charged tweet that convinced Team ABC to fire her.
So Candice Bergen is back, along with old co-stars Faith Ford and Grant Shaud.
Media critics hid the big casting surprise, so it’s not completely fair to blame Clinton for the soft ratings. Still, audiences were clearly tipped off, both by the early reviews and the “Murphy Brown” teasers from earlier this year, that the show would be another anti-Trump affair.
Enough viewers felt, given the glut of such material across the media landscape, this revival wasn’t worth the bother.
The “Murphy Brown” cameo played into the media’s manufactured image of Clinton as being hyper-competent, despite her track record. The moment ends with Clinton handing Murphy Brown her card, with the farcical URL youcouldahadme.com.
Who doesn’t pine for Obama’s tepid economy on steroids?
It’s hardly the first time a TV show attempted to spit-polish the former first lady’s image.
The Comedy Central series “Broad City” featured a similar Clinton cameo, with the show’s main characters fawning over her like a rock star.
The show’s creator dubbed the moment apolitical in nature. Yes, and the “Murphy Brown” cameo was another fair and balanced yuk-fest, of course.