CBS Entertainment President Les Moonves announced Sunday that actress Lily Tomlin has joined the cast of the network's sitcom "Murphy Brown" for the upcoming season. Tomlin will portray the new executive producer of the show's fictional news magazine, "FYI", replacing the character of Miles Silverberg played by Grant Shaud. After eight seasons, Shaud left the popular sitcom to pursue other projects.
Speaking to the Television Critics Association, Moonves also announced that Tomlin has signed with CBS to develop and star in a show when the run of "Murphy Brown" is over.
Tomlin's celebrated 1985 show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, written by her longtime partner Jane Wagner, garnered her a Best Actress Tony Award in 1986. Search went on to become Broadway's longest running solo performance show until just last week, when Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman surpassed Search's run.
A movie version of Search, directed by cinematographer John Bailey (who shot the soon-to-be-broadcast video of Sondheim/Lapine's Passion), was released in 1992.
"Murphy Brown", starring Candice Bergen, features an actor familiar to theater fans: Charles Kimbrough starred in the original Broadway cast of Company and has appeared onstage recently in the New York premiere productions of A.R. Gurney's Later Life and Sylvia.
--By Andrew Ku