What to Watch on Thursday: ‘Murphy Brown’ returns after 20 years off the air

(L-R): Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana, Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg, Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown and Faith Ford as Corky
(L-R): Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana, Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg, Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown and Faith Ford as Corky CBS Television Network

The new fall season starts this week. We’ll try to get all of the new show premieres and season premieres in What to Watch over the coming weeks. Check out our full 2018 Fall TV Preview.

Murphy Brown (9:30 p.m., CBS) - In this revived CBS classic, former “FYI” reporter Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) is inspired by the chaotic and contentious national discourse to return to television. She joins the CNC cable network’s morning news program along with colleagues Frank, Corky and Miles. Murphy’s now-adult son Avery works for the competing Wolf Network (a stand-in for Fox, obviously), and their unique mother-son relationship is a wonderful new aspect of the show. Despite having committed the unforgivable female sin of growing older, Bergen is still fantastic, right at home in the role that defined her career and inspired a generation (or two) of women. Murphy’s chemistry with producer Miles (Grant Shaud), always one of the great delights of this show, is maybe my favorite part — along with those classic Murphy rants. And early in the season we are treated to a guest appearance from Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough). As always, the show is extremely topical and very political — it’s about journalists in Washington, D.C., so what do you expect? Trump may not love it, but “Murphy Brown” fans will not be disappointed.

Also on tonight . . .

The Good Place (8 p.m., NBC) - Michael journeys to Earth to save Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason’s lives in the Season 3 premiere, creating a timeline to see if they can become better people.

Grey’s Anatomy (8 p.m., ABC) - Meredith struggles to stay focused while she bonds with a new patient in the two-hour Season 15 premiere

Big Bang Theory (8 p.m., CBS) - Sheldon and Amy try to remember the “perfect gift” Leonard and Penny gave them for their wedding.

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Young Sheldon (8:30 p.m., CBS) - In the Season 2 premiere, young Sheldon becomes jealous when Dr. Sturgis bonds with another 10-year-old genius.

Law & Order: SVU (9 p.m., NBC) - In the two-hour Season 20 premiere, a teenager shows evidence of rape but refuses to name his attacker. Recurring guest star Dylan Walsh (“Nip/Tuck”) plays John Conway, a self-made businessman and respected member of the community.

Mom (9 p.m., CBS) - In the Season 6 premiere, Christy has seconds thoughts about law school after a tough first day.

Food Town: Durham, N.C. (9:30 p.m., UNC-TV) - This half-hour documentary goes behind the scenes to check out Durham’s thriving restaurant community. Some of the chefs and restaurants featured are Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint; Phoebe Lawless of the now-closed Scratch and The Lakewood; Michael Lee of M Sushi, M Kokko and M Tempura; Gray and Cara Brooks of Pizzeria Toro, Littler, Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter; Kelli and Billy Cotter of Toast and Dashi Ramen; and Scott Howell of NanaSteak, NanaTaco, Bar Virgile and DeeLuxe Chicken.

How To Get Away with Murder (10 p.m., ABC) - Annalise selects students for her new legal clinic and juggles job offers from competing firms in the Season 5 premiere. A new mystery shakes things up for Annalise and the Keating 4.

S.W.A.T. (10 p.m., CBS) - An earthquake hits Los Angeles in the Season 2 premiere.

Some programming details are provided by networks.