As we approach 2015 and the future shown to us in Back to the Future II - complete with flying cars, hover boards, and the promise of Jaws 19 - one of my favorite actors of all time is about to come back to television. News broke the other day that NBC won the bidding war for a new sitcom starring Michael J. Fox. This is rare considering the pilot hasn't even been shot yet, and the last place network has already committed to both purchase and air 22 episodes. That is the same network that pulled shows like Southland and The Black Donnellys off the air after showing only a handful of episodes for each.
The new show is set to be shot in a single-camera style like Parks and Recreation or Modern Family. It will revolve around Fox, who will play a version of himself, much like Larry David does on Curb Your Enthusiasm where Fox just appeared as David’s nemesis in the Season 8 finale.
This will not only mark Fox’s full-time return to TV, but should also prove to an important tool in raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease. His diagnosis of Parkinson’s back in 1998 is what lead to him eventually leaving Spin City, and has since had him mostly retired. Over the last decade he has stuck primarily to voice work in movies like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, but has made several memorable TV appearances as well, such as a doctor with OCD on Scrubs, and multiple episode arcs on The Good Wife, Boston Legal, and Rescue Me.
Fox is of course still best known and loved for his major roles in the ’80s – Alex P. Keaton, who he played for 176 episodes of Family Ties, Scott Howard; the lead in Teen Wolf, and Marty McFly, the time traveling teenager in the Back to the Future trilogy, which remains one of film’s most iconic characters of the last 30 years. Now he’ll return to network television, where he got his break, and hopefully find success on the last place NBC.
I for one will be watching come Fall 2013…