When the character "Jim" left FYI to become a news director. The show lost it's focus, which had been on relations between the news characters & biting political humor and became a preachy "public service announcement" from that point forward.
The descent of Murphy Brown into the shark pit was definitely a slow one. A slight jump took place when Murphy had the baby. The actual episode where she gave birth was great, but little Avery ultimately softened the title character and dulled the program's marvelous satirical edge. The next slight leap took place when Eldin departed. Robert Pastorelli was absolutely brilliant as the eccentric house painter, and without him, Murphy's homelife seemed to disappear before our eyes. In the coming years, we watched the wonderful Scott Bakula trapped in a dead end role, saw a painfully contrived relationship develop between Corky and Miles, and even saw Paul Ruebens join the cast. Still, fairly good writing and the great cast kept the show on track. The major jump finally occured when Miles Silverberg departed. He was the funniest and most likable character on the show, and Grant Shaud's winning portrayal always brought a smile to my face. Without Miles, the delicate chemistry and the writing seemed to fall apart at the seams. The last two seasons with Lily Tomlin are not worth your time or mine. A sad end to a truly fine television program.
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