NBC wasted no time at all in celebrating on Monday — not only have they landed Michael J. Fox’s upcoming return to television after more than a decade away from full-time work, but they are confident enough in it to give the show a full season without watching a single clip of footage.
Giving a series a full order like this without a pilot is certainly a rare move for a network to make, and the last time NBC granted a full season to a show before its premiere, it didn’t turn out so well. (Ask them how they are feeling about “The Firm.”) However, there is a major reason for optimism here — Fox already has a pair of huge comedy hits on his resume in “Family Ties” (which ran on the Peacock over 30 years ago) and “Spin City,” and his battle with Parkinson’s Disease over the past 21 years has made him even more of a public hero. He’s a genuinely likable guy who lights up the screen, even when he plays sinister characters like Louis Canning on “The Good Wife.”
In a statement, network programming head Robert Greenblatt had the following to say:
“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 … 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 pleasure of the highest order.”
Fox’s show is reportedly going to be based somewhat on his own life, and his character will even suffer from Parkinson’s. It was by far the most competitive project of development season so far. Every major television network expressed an interest, and it may have been the automatic pickup that pushed NBC over the top. The show has a team that includes writer Sam Laybourne (“Arrested Development”) and director Will Gluck (“Easy A”).
Is this a project that you see yourself automatically checking out at least once? To find out some more news on the battle over this show, be sure and read the story here.