The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Entertainment

January 7, 2013

Michael J. Fox to play newscaster in new NBC show

PASADENA, Calif. — On his upcoming NBC comedy, Michael J. Fox will play a newscaster who had quit his job due to Parkinson's Disease but returns to work in the show's first episode because a new medical regimen has helped him control many of the disease's symptoms.

It mirrors the life of the former "Family Ties" and "Spin City" star, who said last year that drugs have helped minimize the physical tics of Parkinson's and have enabled him to take on more acting jobs.

The yet-to-be-named sitcom is a key piece of NBC's strategy to build upon a revival that has brought the network back from many years in the ratings wilderness. Show like "The Voice" and "Revolution" have made NBC the only one of the four biggest networks to gain in viewership over last season.

Though it's not definite, NBC is penciling Fox's comedy in for September on its low-rated Thursday schedule. The long-running Thursday comedy "30 Rock" ends its run on Jan. 31, and "The Office" will exit after a special one-hour episode this spring.

In the family comedy, Fox's character will be the father of two teenage children and a younger boy, Jennifer Salke, the network's entertainment president, said on Sunday. It will be set in New York City, and filmed there, too, she said.

The real-life disease has left Fox an object of pity-fueled admiration, yet Fox "approaches his life and his work with a lot of irreverence," Salke said.

"It's a family show that has him dealing with work and office relationships as well as dealing with kind of his public persona, which is very real," she said. "You see, he gets a standing ovation everywhere he shows up, and the idea that he's sort of been put up on this pedestal by the country and the world, really. He's just a regular guy, who gets frustrated, who gets mad at having to sit at home."

Fox is meeting this week with actresses who may be cast as his wife on the show.

Fox has appeared in limited roles over the past few years, most notably as a lawyer in CBS' "The Good Wife." But it's his track record as the star of two previous sitcoms that has NBC executives eagerly looking forward to the new show. He left ABC's "Spin City" in 2000 after four seasons, saying he hoped to help find a cure for Parkinson's.

NBC focused this season on improving its standing earlier in the week, building from the popular Sunday night football franchise and a new fall edition of "The Voice" on Mondays and Tuesdays. The strategy worked better than executives envisioned, said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman.

In the "must-see" days of "Friends" and "Seinfeld," NBC was the king of Thursday nights. But its ratings are a fraction of what they were, as its current comedies haven't matched critical acclaim with a large audience.

 

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • World War I battle demonstration at state park The Museum of 20th Century Warfare and the staff at Fort Harrison State Park will host a World War I battle demonstration at The Trenches at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Fort Harrison State Park. Another demonstration will be staged there on Sunday, May 4, at noon and 2 p.m.

    April 25, 2014

  • South Madison offers 'cyber safety' program for parents From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Tmbler, the list of social media websites is long and seems to grow almost daily.

    April 25, 2014

  • City to celebrate Earth Day After a one-year hiatus, the celebration of Earth Day in Anderson will take place at Shadyside Memorial Park this Saturday.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0425 - Block Party - JC 2 Learning block by block More than 45 toddlers and parents came to the Pendleton Public Library on Thursday to play with blocks. Although that seems like a fairly normal, everyday activity, the children were learning skills that will help them down the road.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS - HB0425 - garfinkel exhibit - 02 Center for the Arts opens vibrant exhibit

    A layover in Japan more than three decades ago changed the course of New York-based artist Gloria Garfinkel’s work for the rest of her life. The Anderson Center for the Arts opened its latest exhibit featuring Garfinkel’s work Wednesday, and it will run until June 13.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Weekend Calendar: April 25 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 25-27.

    April 24, 2014

  • Live music: April 25 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • Rivers refuses to apologize to women held captive

    Joan Rivers refuses to apologize for comparing living in her daughter's guest room with the captivity of three women kidnapped in Cleveland.

    April 24, 2014

  • Hospital's ER Department plans annual golf tournament Community Hospital Anderson’s Emergency Department will host its 12th annual golf tournament on Friday, June 20, at The Edge golf course. The Florida-style scramble will begin with a Lifeline helicopter liftoff at 1 p.m.

    April 24, 2014

  • FEA HB0424 Bids for Kids Bears - April 2014 Annual Bids for Kids auction starts Friday

    Breaking the cycle of child abuse is one of the most difficult things to do, but the people of Madison County aren’t ready to give up trying.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo