NBC Welcomes Michael J. Fox Back to Prime Time Television
Fortunately, Mike’s got the support of his wife (Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt) and an old boss who never wanted him to leave (The Wire’s Wendell Pierce). However, his friends and family know that getting him out of the house and back into the anchor chair means convincing him it was his idea all along.
The plot of The Michael J. Fox Show echoes real life for the new sitcom’s star, who gained the nation’s affection as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties. At that show’s peak, more than 25 million Americans tuned in on Thursday nights to watch the young conservative character square off with his ex-hippie parents. Fox won three Emmys and a Golden Globe for the role, while simultaneously filming the first installment of Universal Pictures’ Back to the Future trilogy.
Although Fox received his own Parkinson’s diagnosis shortly after the release of Back to the Future III, he spent another decade juggling network television and motion picture roles before revealing the news about his illness to fans and colleagues. Despite Fox’s stated intention to spend more time focusing on his family, his health, and his research foundation, he still found time to make guest appearances on popular television series over the past few years. Fox’s new show marks both his return to NBC and his return to a regular series role for the first time since 2000.
According to a recent online survey sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Americans typically underestimate their risk for brain disease. Nearly one in five of the survey’s respondents said they think about their brain health every day, but studies indicate that as many as 60 percent of adults will develop a brain disease during their lifetime. Fox and his foundation’s representatives have expressed their hope that the new series will open a door to more conversations about brain health, while inspiring and entertaining television audiences.