Michael J. Fox Talks About The Role Of Parkinson's In New NBC Comedy

NBC has high hopes for its new comedy lineup on Thursday nights, which will include veteran programming like Parks and Recreation, but also some new programming, including stuff starring Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes. At this summer’s Television Critics Association panel, Fox came out to talk about his new program, The Michael J. Fox Show, which will mirror some of his real-life struggles with Parkinson’s Disease and with the family members who have been with him through some of the toughest times.

The show will star Fox as a New York news anchor who has taken a break from the public spotlight but wants to get back to work, much to the relief of his wife Annie (Betsy Brandt) and the rest of his family. NBC has already released teasers and the full trailer for the series that will kind-of give you an idea of the sort of subjects the show will get into, which revolve around work, home life, and dealing with Parkinson’s, among other topics.

It doesn’t sound like great fodder for comedy, but Fox and show creator Will Gluck agree that the show wants to portray life with Parkinson’s with some degree of believability, while still helping audiences to realize that there is still laughter and life beyond the troubles of having a disease. As reported by The Star, Fox isn’t trying to offend anyone with the show’s take on the disease.

“If someone wants to be outraged they can be outraged. It’s really just the way I look at life and the reality of Parkinson’s. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s funny. We all have our bag of hammers. We all have our own Parkinson’s.”

The project came about from Fox’s own family experiences, as well as his own experiences of dealing with the disease that the public has come to know better, thanks to the former Spin City actor’s diagnosis. However, Parkinson’s won’t even be at the focus of the news anchor-based sitcom.

“It’s always going to be there, but it’s not going to be the spotlight.”

The Michael J. Fox Show has been one of the most highly talked about new programs of the 2013-2014 season. From what we’ve seen so far, NBC may have its first Thursday night winner on its hands in a while. We’ll have to wait and see how the show pans out, but you can begin catching new episodes when The Michael J. Fox Show hits NBC’s schedule on September 26 at 9 p.m. ET (in subsequent weeks, the show will air at 9:30).

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.