Michael J Fox Casted To Play Father Dealing With Parkinson’s Disease In New Sitcom
For many sitcom fans he will forever be the fresh-faced teenager Alex P Keaton in Family Ties. But Michael J Fox is getting set to make a return to the small screen as a family man struggling with Parkinson’s disease in a new comedy.
The show has been signed up for a full series by television network NBC after it won a hotly contested bidding war.
It is a pleasing piece of coincidental synchronicity for the 51-year-old , as it mean his first full-time starring role since leaving Spin City in 2000 will be on the same channel he made his breakthrough.
NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt told Deadline: ‘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 relateable, 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.’
All four major broadcast networks were eager to take the show, but NBC won out after offering an on-air full-season deal, something that seemed long gone on television.
It has been more than a decade since he was forced to take early retirement following his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease.
However he revealed in May that a new drug regimen has helped him control the tics that are a result of the disease and allowed him to take on more acting roles.
The show will be a glossy single-camera sitcom in the vain of shows such as Ally McBeal and Entourage.
The show, which was co-created by Cougar Town’s Sam Laybourne and Will Gluck, will have a 22-episode run and will debut in the autumn of 2013.
Michael’s character will be a busy husband and father of three in New York City juggling his family, career, his health and other challenges.
It is very much a case of art imitating life, as he has four children with his wife of 24 years Tracy Pollan.
Filming is set to begin later in the year, with Friends With Benefits director Gluck helming the pilot, which will be written by Laybourne.
Michael is still a massive star, with his final episode on Spin City remaining one of the most watched series telecast of the past two decades.
He has been tiptoeing back into the world of comedy, and earned an Emmy nomination after guest starring on the last season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, earning an Emmy nomination. His new show was developed by Sony Pictures Television
The actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, left Spin City in 2000 and said he intended to focus on helping find a cure for the disease. He started a foundation, which bears his name, to fund research toward that goal.