Michelle Pfeiffer is on a roll lately! First, we got the news that she was teaming with the legendary Robert De Niro for HBO's The Wizard of Lies, then we were told she was shooting an indie film with Kiefer Sutherland called Beat-up Little Seagull and then - to my greatest surprise - she boarded the new Darren Aronofsky drama alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem! Whew, slow down girl! There's only so much a Pfeiffer fan can take at one time.
The past few years, it had seemingly become routine for the Batman Returns actress to film two or three movies at a time and then disappear again for roughly three or more years. I guess she really meant it when she said she intends to work more now that both her children are in college. In an interview with The Buffalo News, Murphy Brown creator, Diane English, revealed that she has written a pilot episode for a brand new morning news sitcom under consideration at HBO, starring the infamous Catwoman actress herself.
English revealed that the sitcom, based on her own life and the life of co-producer Katie Couric, will be titled Good Morning! And that on top of having scripted the pilot episode, she's already planned out the entire first season. She spoke a little about her inspiration for the potential series, saying,
“I’ve been fascinated by how morning television has sort of degraded into infotainment, primarily, and how it covers the gamut. They’ll have like a half hour of actual news and the rest of it is just a free-for-all.”
English also wanted to clarify that the new show is in no way a reboot of Murphy Brown.
"It’s not ‘Murphy Brown’ 2016. It’s a very different kind of character and a very different kind of show.”
If picked up by HBO, Michelle Pfeiffer will portray the lead character who is described as a mother and journalist in her mid to late fifties who is wooed into giving up her career as a journalist to join a morning news program. But, like English in real life, the character becomes disenchanted with programming decisions. She pushes for change, but instead gets pushed out, and ends up taking a job on the fourth-rated morning show.
English stated that the career driven woman in her fifties isn't something she sees explored in television much these days. She added,
“When I went to HBO and pitched this, they said, ‘You know, we’d like to make the show as much about that as morning television.’ And I said, ‘Would you repeat that please?’ Because never in my life have I ever heard a television executive say, ‘We want to know more about what it’s like to be a woman in her mid-50s.’ So that’s been a real pleasure. I get a chance to write a lot about my own experience too.”
Katie Couric, drawing from her own personal experience as a morning news host, is lending her decades worth of behind the scenes TV knowledge to English as she creates this show, her first in almost twenty years. English said this of Couric's involvement,
“Katie knows where the bodies are laid. She’s been incredibly helpful. The stories that she tells, it’s amazing.”
Couric also spoke of her involvement in the series in a separate interview,
“I’m providing a lot of material, just because I’ll say to her, ‘Oh my God, you won’t believe what happened to me today.’ Or, ‘This was such a funny moment.’ ”
Couric wouldn't give much more than that when asked about how she was contributing to the show. She did say that she and English were discussing topics such as "the transactional nature of fame" and "the social pecking order".
English, Pfeiffer, and Couric are still waiting to hear back from HBO, but expect an answer by the end of May on whether or not the show will get the highly anticipated greenlight, after having been in production for over a year now.
English said she's a little bit more nervous about this show, being that it will air in the age of social media's raging acceptance or rejection. She also stated that HBO feels like the best place for the show and for her own personal ability to balance her work and personal life. The show, like most HBO series, will consist of 10 episode seasons instead of the usual 22 seen on commerical networks such as ABC, CBS, and NBC.
If picked up, the show may or may not be able to rehearse, prep, and film in time for a Fall 2016 release, especially given Pfeiffer's increasingly busy schedule with her involvement in the upcoming Darren Aronofsky project. And as she prepares for the release of both her HBO original movie and Beat-up Little Seagull, we may have to wait at least another year if the show does in fact get the go-ahead from HBO.