Never have two news releases prompted so much fun with a headline.
Well for this blog at least.
On Monday, it was announced that one of the most loved stars in the world, Michael J Fox who has found fame on both the small and big screens is returning to series television, after brief stints on both The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
He has inked a deal with NBC, after being pursued by all the major broadcast networks, for an unheard of (well in this day and age at least of tight budgets and shortened series) on air full season pick up with the as-yet-untitled series premiering during the Fall TV season in 2013.
It is a homecoming of sorts for Fox, who shot to stardom with an NBC comedy, Family Ties, 30 years ago, a show that is still in syndication and holds up well after all this time.
His new single camera sitcom – which follows the trend of comedies such as The Office and Parks and Recreation in doing away with multiple camera angles – will be helmed by an experience team including Will Gluck (director of Easy A) who will direct the pilot episode written by Sam Laybourne (a writer on edgy comedy Cougartown).
The show will focus on Fox’s character as he juggles the demands of a marriage, family, career, and yes, Parkinson’s disease since it is loosely based on Fox’s own life, and his quest to live as normal a life as possible with the disease which forced him to relinquish his role in Spin City in 2000 at the end of the show’s fourth season.
NBC Chairman, Bob Greenblatt had this to say about the deal with Fox:
“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.”
I know the show’s debut is a year away but as a long time fan of the man, in both his TV and movie incarnations, I can’t wait to see his infectiously charming smile and mischievous wit back in full force.
Meanwhile, the creator of Parks and Recreation, which currently screens on NBC, has sold a new sitcom to the FOX network (which frankly should have bought Michael J Fox’s sitcom thus making the headlines even better than they already are) about a diverse group of detectives working in a precinct on the outskirts of New York City.
It will be filmed as a single camera comedy, a style that as mentioned is much in vogue, and was the subject of a bidding war which reflects the cachet that Mike Schur has built up with the critical and commercial success that is Parks and Recreation.
Alas he, and Parks and Recreation producer, Dan Goor haven’t been showered with anything as generous as full season pick up despite the new unnamed show being the object of a bidding war, but they have been green lit for a pilot, and given their pedigree – Schur was a staff writer on Saturday Night Live before moving to Parks – it would be surprising indeed if this isn’t picked up in some form.
It is good times indeed for the sitcom and a clear sign as I noted in an earlier post, that there is much life left in the genre yet.