As a child of the 70's, I'm pretty sure I'm legally required to have a mild crush on Michael J. Fox, and the fact that he's remained so attractive over the years (whatever vitamins Fox and Jason Bateman are taking, I want some) doesn't hurt. I'll always have a soft spot for young Alex P. Keaton and Family Ties, but I'm thrilled to hear that 51-year-old Fox is making a major comeback to the sitcom world.
Starting in fall of 2013, Fox's new comedy series premieres on NBC -- and the network clearly believes they have a major hit on their hands. Not only was there a major bidding war over this project, NBC offered Fox a deal that's virtually unheard of today in television.
Fox's new show is apparently loosely based on his life, since he'll be playing a husband and father of three from New York City who's dealing with family, career, and challenges that include Parkinson’s. No other major details have been released yet, although it's encouraging to hear that Arrested Development writer Sam Laybourne is a co-creator.
Fox has been pretty busy outside of TV-land in recent years, having left his Spin City in 2000 to focus on helping find a cure for Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1991. He made good on his promise, founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure, promoting the development of improved therapies, and raising public awareness.
I imagine that his new show is, at least in part, another effort by Fox to raise awareness and further his cause, and the good news for him is that NBC made a truly unusual commitment to the new series. In an industry where new shows run the risk of being canceled as soon as audience ratings drop, the network took the aggressive step of promising to make and air a full season of 22 episodes of the show -- sight unseen.
In a statement, the chairman of NBC Entertainment said,
To bring Michael J. Fox back to NBC is a supreme honor and we are thrilled that one of the great comedic television stars is coming home again,” said Greenblatt. “From the moment we met with Michael to hear his unique point of view about this new show, we were completely captivated and on board. He is utterly relatable, optimistic, and in a class by himself, and I have no doubt that the character he will create — and the vivid family characters surrounding him — will be both instantly recognizable and hilarious. Being in business with him is a supreme pleasure.
Fox may have been planning this comeback for a while, since last May he told ABC News that a new drug regimen had helped him control the tics that are a result of the disease and could allow him to take on more acting roles.
I'm glad to hear he's doing so well, and I'm really interested to see how this show pans out. It's a hell of a gamble by NBC, but I have a feeling that 5-time Emmy-winning Fox will pull it off.
Are you excited about Michael J. Fox coming back to television? Will you check out his new show?
Image via The Michael J. Fox Foundation