Candice Bergen won five Emmys from 1989-1995 out of seven nominations for playing the eponymous character in Murphy Brown. She stopped submitting her name for consideration in 1996 and was never nominated for the show again.
Do you guys think that Bergen should’ve won as many Emmys as she did for the show?
That’s a fabulous question. Even as someone who adores Bergen and Murphy Brown, I would concede she absolutely did not deserve that many Emmys. Let’s look back at this.
Her season one victory was richly deserved and, with all of The Golden Girls gals having prevailed at that point, Bergen was a virtual shoo-in. I would argue she deserved the season two win as well but keep in mind, the front-runner that year was actually Delta Burke, whose “They Shoot Fat Women, Don’t They” was the epitome of Emmy-bait, and Burke also self-campaigned heavily.
Kirstie Alley deserved her victory the following year – “The Days of Wine and Neurosis” was great Emmy-bait and Bergen’s tape wasn’t at the same level as her prior two. Bergen was a shoo-in, however, for season four’s “Birth 101,” which dropped at the same time as VP Dan Quayle’s criticism about Murphy Brown and single mothers. I, however, actually prefer Roseanne’s submission that year, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow.”
Speaking of Roseanne, she richly deserved her victory the following year. The following two years, however – the final Bergen nominations/wins – is where the Bergen victories became overkill. Her submissions weren’t that spectacular, yet she defeated Roseanne’s Emmy-calibur turn in “The Driver’s Seat” and then both Ellen DeGeneres and Cybill Shepherd the following year (both had great tapes and were on the new, hot shows).
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Candice was absolutely perfect in her role as Murphy Brown, and I think she earned every one of those Emmy’s. That said a lot of extremely talented people lost out on Emmy wins because of Candice’s continued winning; to the point that when Helen Hunt won her first Emmy for “Mad About You” she thanked Candice for not submitting that year.