After an intense bidding war between the big four networks, Vulture is reporting that NBC has scored the rights to Michael J. Fox's full-time return to TV. According to Vulture, NBC chief Robert Greenblatt sealed the deal by promising to produce and air 22 episodes (a full season) of Fox's comedy without seeing a single frame of footage. The project marks something of a homecoming for Fox, who got his breakthrough TV role on NBC's "Family Ties" in 1982.
The single-camera comedy, which will be written by Sam Laybourne ("Arrested Development") and produced by Will Gluck (director of "Easy A" and the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis movie "Friends With Benefits"), will be filmed in New York, where Fox found success with "Spin City."
The comedy will draw inspiration from Fox's own life, since he will play a father with an illness. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. The comedy will be produced by Sony Television, and is aiming for a fall 2013 premiere.
UPDATE: NBC has released a statement on Fox's return, with Greenblatt voicing his enthusiasm for the project:
“To bring Michael J. Fox back to NBC is a supreme honor and we are thrilled that one of the great comedic television stars is coming home again,” said Greenblatt. “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. Being in business with him is a supreme pleasure.”
"We have all been such huge fans of Michael's and hoped one day he would return to television with his own show,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “He had us at hello with his warmth, humor and incredible charisma. The fact that he pitched us a show that was funny, heartwarming and personal was the icing on the cake! We are over the moon and thankful Michael, Will [Gluck] and Sam [Laybourne] will be a cornerstone of our NBC comedy brand."
“I'm extremely pleased to be back at NBC with a great creative team and a great show,” said Fox. “Bob Greenblatt and all the folks at the network have given me a warm welcome home, and I'm excited to get to work.”
The network also released a few more details on the as yet untitled comedy: "It features Fox as a husband and father of three from New York City dealing with family, career, and challenges -- including Parkinson’s -- all loosely drawn from Fox’s real life. Further casting will be announced at a later date."
Tell us: Are you excited to see Michael J. Fox back in a leading role on TV?