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Hillary Clinton makes cameo on 'Murphy Brown'

Hillary Clinton played a fictionalized version of herself on the premiere episode of the "Murphy Brown" reboot.

Posted: Sep 29, 2018 8:47 AM
Updated: Sep 29, 2018 9:14 AM

Even before a single word of the script for CBS's "Murphy Brown" revival was written, Diane English and Candice Bergen had an idea for a big-name guest star.

The two had been talking about ways they would want to revisit the show's iconic gag about Murphy Brown's constantly rotating roster of secretaries in the new series when Bergen pitched the idea of having Hillary Clinton guest star in the first episode.

English immediately thought it was a "great" idea and set out to make it happen.

"We started to pull out all the resources that we had of people we knew who are friends with her," English tells CNN. " And I ran actually a PAC of hers -- one of her digital campaigns -- during the presidential campaign. So we kind of pulled out all the stops and we made it happen."

She adds: "When it actually happened, it really kind gobsmacked us."

On the episode, which aired Thursday, Clinton played a character named "Hilary," who was applying for a position as Bergen's secretary.

The brief cameo had Clinton stretching her comedic muscles, delivering a quip about her experience with emails and another about her previous secretarial experience. (English says, "I was really surprised that she did not ask us to delete the reference to email.")

"What you saw was really what she brought, without very much direction at all," English says. "She knew her lines and she's kind of a natural."

Clinton's guest spot was filmed two weeks after the pilot episode with no studio audience in a closed set with only essential crew.

"Some people burst into tears when they saw her," English says. "It was emotional and wonderful at the same time."

English was determined to make the surprise exactly that. The scene was cut from screeners sent out to press and critics, and Clinton's guest spot received no promotion ahead of the show's airing on CBS.

Clinton's guest appearance aired the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee heard hours of emotional testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault.

English says they "weren't expecting those hearings to be our lead in," and says, "it put us in a kind of a interesting place in the zeitgeist."

"You know, we're all so embroiled in these headlines these days. If it's not this, it's something else," she says. "We just put our heads down and we write our shows and try to make a good show and that's all we can do. We can't predict or control what's going on around us."

Clinton will next appear on CBS's "Madam Secretary" premiere at the start of October, alongside former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell .

English says she didn't know about that cameo until "the last minute" and admits that CBS had "a little bit of a concern" over the fact that Clinton would be appearing on the same network within weeks of each other. But, she says, "my feeling was, and I expressed this to them, that I think people want to see more of her, not less of her."

English has other politicians she would like to have guest on the series but declined to share names, as she wants to continue preserving the element of surprise.

She gives credit to Clinton for taking on a "somewhat self-deprecating part." "I'm glad she did it and she is too. I got a text from Huma [Abedin, Clinton's top aide] today that said everybody really enjoyed it," she says. "[Clinton had] said she was going to have a viewing party."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 517138

Reported Deaths: 10306
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35086559
DeSoto33512432
Hinds32826644
Jackson24938392
Rankin22621405
Lee16564245
Madison14986283
Jones14195248
Forrest13865260
Lauderdale12343323
Lowndes11401193
Lamar10715140
Pearl River9762244
Lafayette8898143
Hancock7854132
Washington7562169
Oktibbeha7246138
Monroe7106179
Pontotoc7071110
Warren6915179
Panola6815136
Neshoba6762210
Marshall6751142
Bolivar6484151
Union647099
Alcorn5969108
Pike5953157
Lincoln5550136
George511380
Prentiss511086
Tippah498483
Itawamba4916107
Scott479599
Tate4790118
Adams4789125
Leflore4765144
Copiah458995
Simpson4587117
Yazoo458692
Wayne444372
Covington435895
Sunflower4338106
Marion4313112
Coahoma4263111
Leake414491
Newton396482
Tishomingo390294
Grenada3799109
Stone366466
Attala342290
Jasper341667
Chickasaw320867
Winston319092
Clay314378
Clarke302095
Calhoun289550
Holmes273789
Smith271452
Yalobusha246547
Tallahatchie233153
Greene225549
Walthall222266
Lawrence221142
Perry214656
Amite210657
Webster207248
Noxubee188943
Montgomery182857
Carroll176341
Jefferson Davis175043
Tunica164139
Benton153539
Kemper145641
Choctaw138027
Claiborne134939
Humphreys132639
Franklin127130
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106539
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849409

Reported Deaths: 16199
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1165042004
Mobile744951384
Madison53605739
Shelby38474373
Baldwin38236590
Tuscaloosa36225644
Montgomery34599784
Lee25712264
Calhoun22652520
Morgan22569411
Etowah20084521
Marshall18878318
Houston17806426
St. Clair16987359
Limestone16220222
Cullman16183306
Elmore15967295
Lauderdale15126308
Talladega14275302
DeKalb13099271
Walker12202380
Blount10803193
Autauga10566157
Jackson10237196
Coffee9447192
Colbert9396210
Dale9052192
Tallapoosa7291202
Russell711965
Chilton7101171
Covington6985197
Escambia6972146
Franklin6379108
Chambers5815142
Marion5451132
Dallas5307210
Pike5135109
Clarke485986
Lawrence4857130
Winston4804111
Geneva4658137
Bibb436795
Barbour370880
Butler3446101
Marengo342593
Monroe338666
Randolph338567
Pickens335590
Fayette332785
Henry321566
Cherokee321264
Hale320289
Crenshaw262278
Washington256952
Cleburne255460
Lamar253755
Clay253169
Macon246667
Conecuh193962
Coosa186248
Lowndes178468
Wilcox178338
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130845
Choctaw94928
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