Hillary Clinton makes cameo on 'Murphy Brown'

Hillary Clinton played a fictionalized version of herself on the premiere episode of the "Murphy Brown" reboot.

Posted: Sep 29, 2018 9:58 AM
Updated: Sep 29, 2018 10:14 AM

Even before a single word of the script for CBS's "Murphy Brown" revival was written, Diane English and Candice Bergen had an idea for a big-name guest star.

The two had been talking about ways they would want to revisit the show's iconic gag about Murphy Brown's constantly rotating roster of secretaries in the new series when Bergen pitched the idea of having Hillary Clinton guest star in the first episode.

English immediately thought it was a "great" idea and set out to make it happen.

"We started to pull out all the resources that we had of people we knew who are friends with her," English tells CNN. " And I ran actually a PAC of hers -- one of her digital campaigns -- during the presidential campaign. So we kind of pulled out all the stops and we made it happen."

She adds: "When it actually happened, it really kind gobsmacked us."

On the episode, which aired Thursday, Clinton played a character named "Hilary," who was applying for a position as Bergen's secretary.

The brief cameo had Clinton stretching her comedic muscles, delivering a quip about her experience with emails and another about her previous secretarial experience. (English says, "I was really surprised that she did not ask us to delete the reference to email.")

"What you saw was really what she brought, without very much direction at all," English says. "She knew her lines and she's kind of a natural."

Clinton's guest spot was filmed two weeks after the pilot episode with no studio audience in a closed set with only essential crew.

"Some people burst into tears when they saw her," English says. "It was emotional and wonderful at the same time."

English was determined to make the surprise exactly that. The scene was cut from screeners sent out to press and critics, and Clinton's guest spot received no promotion ahead of the show's airing on CBS.

Clinton's guest appearance aired the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee heard hours of emotional testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault.

English says they "weren't expecting those hearings to be our lead in," and says, "it put us in a kind of a interesting place in the zeitgeist."

"You know, we're all so embroiled in these headlines these days. If it's not this, it's something else," she says. "We just put our heads down and we write our shows and try to make a good show and that's all we can do. We can't predict or control what's going on around us."

Clinton will next appear on CBS's "Madam Secretary" premiere at the start of October, alongside former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell .

English says she didn't know about that cameo until "the last minute" and admits that CBS had "a little bit of a concern" over the fact that Clinton would be appearing on the same network within weeks of each other. But, she says, "my feeling was, and I expressed this to them, that I think people want to see more of her, not less of her."

English has other politicians she would like to have guest on the series but declined to share names, as she wants to continue preserving the element of surprise.

She gives credit to Clinton for taking on a "somewhat self-deprecating part." "I'm glad she did it and she is too. I got a text from Huma [Abedin, Clinton's top aide] today that said everybody really enjoyed it," she says. "[Clinton had] said she was going to have a viewing party."

Terre Haute
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 48°
Robinson
Scattered Clouds
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Rockville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Casey
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Brazil
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 48°
Marshall
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 48°
Cool and Sunny!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

All You Need to Know for Monday

Image

Holiday traditions underway in downtown Terre Haute, what to expect this year with COVID-19 concerns

Image

Monday: Mostly sunny and chilly High: 48°

Image

Sunday Evening Forecast

Image

Christmas at the Zoo

Image

Wind Chill explainer

Image

Operation Christmas Child packing

Image

Jeep Junkies collect Toys for Tots

Image

Wrapping paper alternatives to protect the environment

Image

New restaurant opens in Vigo County

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 656298

Reported Deaths: 12050
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2808966303
DuPage41006746
Will34965530
Lake34159602
Kane29240443
Winnebago17303246
McHenry13008147
Madison12865217
St. Clair11915253
Champaign1006847
Sangamon911189
Peoria8113117
Rock Island7905120
Kankakee775396
McLean763049
Macon5950115
Tazewell584089
Kendall564641
LaSalle5548119
DeKalb456745
Adams434846
Boone353230
Vermilion341043
Whiteside340495
Williamson321877
Coles307157
Clinton294356
Ogle256725
Knox253456
Jackson244034
Effingham243317
Grundy242611
Henry233112
Stephenson226529
Marion221741
Randolph203123
Livingston200519
Morgan198333
Bureau191535
Macoupin189517
Franklin185622
Monroe179744
Christian173138
Lee168022
Jefferson167358
Woodford152526
Iroquois148624
McDonough148037
Logan144212
Fayette141128
Douglas124216
Fulton123710
Shelby119924
Union110926
Jersey110523
Montgomery104319
Saline102922
Crawford10049
Jo Daviess98916
Carroll97824
Warren97317
Perry94419
Pike93720
Bond91310
Hancock88310
Cass87119
Lawrence8559
Moultrie81310
Wayne81232
Greene75426
Clay73817
Clark70219
Piatt6995
Edgar68815
Mercer6659
Ford65821
Johnson6533
Richland64319
Mason62116
Washington5902
Jasper58111
De Witt57013
Cumberland56113
White5298
Massac4672
Wabash4608
Menard4111
Pulaski3752
Hamilton3573
Marshall3405
Unassigned3240
Brown2753
Henderson2540
Alexander2422
Schuyler2301
Putnam2240
Calhoun2150
Scott2110
Stark2043
Edwards2033
Gallatin1773
Hardin1200
Pope741
Out of IL100

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 295357

Reported Deaths: 5305
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion40796844
Lake25864448
Allen17025289
Elkhart16389209
St. Joseph16125217
Hamilton12225163
Vanderburgh9218112
Tippecanoe807627
Porter770176
Johnson5971161
Hendricks5719154
Vigo563274
Monroe519846
Clark486774
Delaware4721103
Madison4651119
Kosciusko437339
LaPorte436792
Howard321375
Warrick309072
Floyd301177
Bartholomew296262
Wayne292261
Cass291231
Marshall283642
Grant254147
Noble244246
Hancock238949
Henry234136
Boone231754
Dubois229230
Dearborn204629
Jackson200033
Morgan196043
Gibson171622
Knox170715
Clinton170420
Shelby170453
Lawrence169246
DeKalb168428
Adams160019
Miami150414
Daviess149143
Wabash148118
Fayette141233
Steuben139713
LaGrange135127
Jasper134911
Harrison134624
Montgomery127926
Whitley127410
Ripley121414
Decatur119842
Posey116613
Putnam115626
Wells115427
Huntington115210
White115221
Randolph114619
Clay111821
Jefferson110314
Scott97918
Greene97553
Jay93012
Starke87021
Sullivan85515
Perry80521
Spencer7957
Jennings79114
Fulton78717
Fountain7257
Washington6966
Carroll65313
Orange64828
Franklin63525
Owen5676
Vermillion5662
Newton53412
Parke5296
Tipton52826
Blackford50011
Rush5006
Pike49618
Pulaski36410
Martin3425
Brown3153
Benton3101
Crawford2711
Union2551
Switzerland2453
Warren2272
Ohio2227
Unassigned0265