The show finds an emotional core, meanwhile, in Murphy’s relationship with her 28-year-old son Avery (Jake McDorman), who has followed her into the family business — only as a reporter/host for the rival Wolf Network, a name about as subtle in its intentions as CNC.
On the plus side, Bergen slides into her imperious character like she was never away, and there’s genuine warmth in the mother-son interactions. On the down side, topical comedy is hardly a novelty, and joking a lot about being preoccupied with Twitter isn’t quite enough to bridge the gap.
To paraphrase Murphy’s line, there’s a difference between good television and an attention-getting concept and title. “Murphy Brown” certainly possesses the latter, but only sporadically qualifies as the former.
As for “Magnum P.I.,” forging ahead without Tom Selleck (occupied elsewhere in “Blue Bloods” alongside the aforementioned “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGyver”), the philosophy seemed to be that one good reboot with Hawaii as an enticing backdrop deserved another.
The new “Magnum” stars Jay Hernandez in the title role, and seeks to offer the same mix of action (there is one pretty dazzling stunt sequence involving a truck and helicopter), comedy and wish-you-were-there scenery. Sure, there are cosmetic changes (Higgins is a woman now), but once you get past the name, this could be any detective show, one likely to rise or fall on Hernandez’s appeal and Magnum’s camaraderie with his various pals.
“You don’t have a plan, do you?” one of Magnum’s buddies asks at one point. Actually, the plan is pretty clear: Hope people tune in thanks to curiosity and nostalgia, then stick around for the reasons they did 30-some-odd years ago.
The plan’s not foolproof, but as MacGyver could tell you, it’s worked before.
“Murphy Brown” premieres Sept. 27 at 9:30 p.m., and “Magnum P.I.” premieres Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. on CBS.