Michael J. Fox Returning to NBC; Network Orders 22 Episodes of his New Sit-Com Before Pilot is Shot

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

August 20th, 2012

via press release:





Series – from Sony Pictures Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment – Will Follow a Husband and Father of Three from New York Dealing with Family, Career, and Challenges Loosely Drawn From Fox’s Real Life




UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – August 20, 2012 – Iconic film and television star Michael J. Fox, a current double Emmy nominee, is making his long-awaited return to series television on NBC, the network where it all began 30 years ago with “Family Ties,” it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment. This new (untitled) comedy series, from Sony Pictures Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment, was given a 22-episode commitment and is loosely inspired by people and elements in Fox’s life.


“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.”


"We have all been such huge fans of Michaels and hoped one day he would return to television with his own show,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “He had us at hello with his warmth, humor and incredible charisma. The fact that he pitched us a show that was funny, heartwarming and personal was the icing on the cake! We are over the moon and thankful Michael, Will (Gluck) and Sam (Laybourne) will be a cornerstone of our NBC comedy brand."


“I'm extremely pleased to be back at NBC with a great creative team and a great show,” said Fox. “Bob Greenblatt and all the folks at the network have given me a warm welcome home, and I'm excited to get to work.”


The single-camera series will begin filming this year for a Fall 2013 premiere date. It features Fox as a husband and father of three from New York City dealing with family, career, and challenges -- including Parkinson’s -- all loosely drawn from Fox’s real life. Further casting will be announced at a later date.


The executive producers and co-creators are Will Gluck (“Easy A,” “Friends with Benefits” “The Loop”) and Sam Laybourne (“Cougar Town,” “Arrested Development”), with Gluck producing through his Sony Television-based Olive Bridge Entertainment. Olive Bridge’s Richard Schwartz will co-executive produce. Gluck also will direct the pilot.


Fox, who is currently a two-time Emmy nominee for his guest-starring performances on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Good Wife,” first gained mass attention for his work as Alex Keaton on NBC’s popular “Family Ties” and won three Emmys and a Golden Globe Award. Major feature-film successes followed, including “Teen Wolf,” “Back to the Future,” “Bright Lights, Big City” and “Casualties of War.”


Fox later starred in the hit comedy series “Spin City,” for which he received another Emmy, three Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He later appeared in two episodes of “Scrubs” and became a recurring regular on “Boston Legal,” earning another Emmy nomination. His other prominent TV appearances include “Rescue Me” (for which he won the Emmy as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series) and recently in “The Good Wife,” which has earned him two Emmy nominations.


His other films include “The Frighteners,” “Doc Hollywood,” “The American President,” “Mars Attacks!” “Back to the Future II” and “Back to the Future III.” Fox also provided the voice to the title character in the animated film “Stuart Little” and its sequel.


Fox founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease while ensuring the development of improved therapies and raising public awareness of Parkinson’s.


Fox has written three NY Times best-sellers: “Lucky Man: A Memoir,” “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.”




Richard Licata, Executive Vice President, Communications for NBC Entertainment, 818/777-3368, richard.licata@nbcuni.com

Rebecca Marks, NBC Entertainment Publicity for NBC Entertainment, 818/777-3030, rebecca.marks@nbcuni.com




  • SJ

    Oh, NBC…


    This may be a stupid question, but what difference does him having Parkinson’s make when deciding which camera style to use?

  • Vixx

    Harry Milwood, you are a vile, loathsome and disrespectful creature who should be avoided by anyone with common decency.

    I’m sure Fox will be delighted that a scumbag like you will stay away from him.

    At least you got one thing right – I guess you ARE a moron. Congratulations.

    I wish the talented and fantastic Mr Fox every success in this endeavour.

  • Kyle7

    @Wes: “It will work out. MJF is so likable, and just because of sympathies people will watch a few episodes.”

    But will people stick around? It doesn’t really matter how well a show starts ratings-wise, it’s what it gets in the later episodes. The Event premiered rather well by anyone’s standards, but that didn’t matter when it tanked later in the season.

    DamC: “Next step: NBC selling a show into syndication before shooting the pilot.”

    At least NBC would have some measure of financial security in that case. But it’s still ludicrous.

  • Blair

    If this was on CBS this would’ve been a huge success.

  • Brock Lesnar

    I would rather see the dude on reruns of Family Ties and Spin City before I ever watch this single-camera garbage.

  • Oliver

    This may be a stupid question, but what difference does him having Parkinson’s make when deciding which camera style to use?

    Multi-camera shows require actors to hit their marks and lines consistently in longer scenes, usually in front of a studio audience. Simply not practical with a movement disorder regardless of whether his character has Parkinsons or not.

    For single-cam, he can do shorter scenes, shoot them multiple times and they can resolve timing issues in the edit.

  • Brock Lesnar

    @ Oliver

    You’re clearly one dumb idiot bro, the dude had Parkinsons on Spin City too and did okay on that show, what’s the difference with him being on a single-cam or a multi-cam with Parkinsons? You just showed how ignorant you are.

  • Oliver

    Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder. Fox’s Parkinson’s has got much worse since he left Spin City in 2001.

    I don’t see how it’s in any way ‘ignorant’ to say he’ll require multiple takes for scenes and that is obviously not suited to multicam. It’s just practical reality given his condition.

  • were123

    22 episodes? What are they going to do? Put it the entire run after The Voice? That’s probably what’s going to happen

  • Justin

    I wish him luck with this show and with Parkinson’s.

    Although, Not to be mean, I think an Animated show would work better. In the words of Richard Kind “People Aren’t gonna laugh if they see your shake.”

  • Networkman

    How much of a draw will Micheal J. Fox have with the younger demographic? Also this premise is tired. There is nothing fresh about this show. He is simply pitching that people would be interested in seeing a character deal with parkinson. So the biggest problem I have with NBC picking this show up is that it appears they are not trying to diversify. I love Micheal J. Fox but I would love to see him in dramas now like The Good Wife. With him returning back to this type of family sitcom it would feel outdated. Give other new comedians the opportunity to shine on network tv in a sitcom. Can I see finally see Raven Symone starring in a primetime sitcom? She would provide a different look than the other shows NBC is offering.

  • Max

    A press release for just a idea? Not even a script is written! This is insane! Oh yeah, this is NBC!

  • RJW

    Kind of surprised by all the negativity in this thread. Fox is a very, very popular personality and this show will premiere very highly. Whether the ratings stay high will obviously depend on whether people like the show; it is a bit surprising that NBC would go for a full season order without even a pilot being shot but I’m guessing (and it’s just a guess) that there was a fierce bidding war and NBC needed to go that far to lock it down. Considering how starved for a hit they are, it shouldn’t be a complete shock.

    Fox is still good. I’m looking forward to this.

  • Jared

    No matter how good this show is Michael J Fox will get viewers to atleast watch a whole 22 episode season..kinda like Tim Allen’s show on ABC..its getting renewed that will be the true test. How bad could it really do on NBC anyway??.

  • capslocke

    Ugggghhhhh NBC what are you doing??? 22 episodes??? If you had done that with Roseanne you’d have a huge problem right now, wouldn’t you?

  • Oliver

    There was a fierce bidding war, but that doesn’t mean a series commitment based on a pitch is any less crazy. Sometimes it’s better to lose a bidding war.

  • Mark

    I love Will Gluck’s films. This will be good!

  • thesnowleopard

    Wow, is Fox up for another show at this late date? Don’t get me wrong: I like him and I’m glad he’s been able to work as steadily as he has. He certainly can still bring the snark. But Parkinson’s is progressive and it’s not just a case of getting a handle on his disease. If he had to leave Spin City because of it, I’m not sure how well he’s going to be able to do over a decade later.

  • Alex

    Worth mentioning that this was an incredibly competitive situation all four major networks wanted this show so the story here isn’t strictly speaking desperation on NBC’s part.

    Personally I think its a good buy. A really good buy in fact. Michael J Fox is incredibly likeable and popular with audiences and has a pretty brilliant track record when it comes to network comedies. A big audience is pretty much locked in for the opening couple of episodes at the very least and God knows NBC needs a new Thursday night anchor. This looks like it can get that job done. And lets not forget that they have a year (give or take) to put this show together. Bypassing the whole pilot development stage means they now have a year to staff up and construct exactly what they want the show to be without having to race the development clock. I have a surprising amount of faith in this.

  • al

    I’ll just say it, it takes a lot more than, “aww, it’s Michael Keaton” and, “aww, he has Parkinsons” for anyone under 25 to buy into this. A friend who is 24 just leaned over and asked, what the hell is Family Ties? This has fail written all over it. And, um, that’s not a pitch, it’s a guy with a disease and his family saying, how about a guy with a disease and his family. Uh, no thanks.

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