NBC Validates ‘The Michael J. Fox Exception’

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By Richard Horgan Comment

In this week’s edition of TV Guide magazine, LA bureau chief Michael Schneider has the lowdown on how actor Michael J. Fox’s return to NBC series work came to pass earlier this month. It all happened incredibly quickly.

The prime time sitcom will be loosely based on Fox’s family life and dealings with Parkinson’s disease. Schneider writes that instead of the usual two-week pitch process, it took just two days for Fox and his project partners – Sony Pictures Television, producers Will Gluck and Sam Laybourne – to consummate a deal:

That’s partly because NBC’s whopping [guaranteed] 22-episode order was too big to ignore — and too much for the other networks to match. Major episodic commitments were a bit more common in the 1990s, but the networks long ago stopped making such risky, pricy bets. But a show starring an icon like Fox doesn’t come along every day. Gluck calls it “The Michael J. Fox Exception.”

Another name for it, on the heels of F/X’s 90-episode extension of Anger Management, might be “The Enduring Appeal of Spin City Alums.” Fox reportedly experienced some severe Parkinson’s symptoms while visiting one network, but per his now well-chronicled M.O., quickly made light of it. Read the full article here.

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