From there, she landed a regular role on the NBC daytime drama "Another World" (1984-85) before segueing to primetime with guest appearances on "Webster" and "Hardcastle and McCormick". The attractive blonde performer made her TV series debut in the little-seen "Popcorn Kid" (CBS, 1987) but scored the following year when she was cast as Corky Sherwood, the cloying, wholesome, flighty Miss America-cum-newscaster on CBS' long-running "Murphy Brown" (1988-98). Ford branched out into the occasional TV-movie, most effectively in a dramatic turn as a mother convinced that her ex-husband has molested her daughter who goes into hiding in "Her Desperate Choice" (Lifetime, 1996).
Within months of the demise of "Murphy Brown", the actress was back on CBS, headlining her own sitcom "Maggie Winters" (1998-99), about a woman who returns to her hometown after a failed marriage and a string of dead-end jobs. After stints in routine TV movies and an addition to the cast of Norm McDonald's "The Norm Show" (ABC, 1999-2001), Ford found another moderate sit-com hit when she co-starred with Kelly Ripa in the ABC sit-com "Hope & Faith" (2003- ), playing a woman whose normal family life is disrupted when she takes in her self-involved, out-of-work soap actress sister (Ripa). Ford's Disney connections also helped land her a supporting role in the Vin Diesel comedy "The Pacifier" (2005).