Fox's new sitcom mirrors his real life

  • Updated: January 7, 2013 - 7:28 PM

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. 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.

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

Oscar host will reveal nominations

For the first time in 40 years, the host of the Academy Awards will help announce the Oscar nominations. Academy officials say Oscar host Seth MacFarlane will join actress Emma Stone to reveal the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards. This is the first time since 1972 that an Oscar host has participated in the nominations announcement. Charlton Heston was the only other show host to announce Oscar nominees. MacFarlane and Stone will reveal the contenders early Thursday morning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' headquarters in Beverly Hills. The Oscars will be presented Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

'DINER' DELAYED: The musical based on the film "Diner" has postponed its Broadway opening. Producers said Sunday night that the Kathleen Marshall-directed show with songs by Sheryl Crow will make its debut on Broadway in the fall, instead of the spring. Set in Baltimore on Christmas 1959, the story explores the lives of a circle of friends in their early 20s, all set to vintage rock 'n' roll and doo-wop. Barry Levinson, who wrote and directed the 1982 film, adapted it into the new musical.

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