Mandy and I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Michael J.Fox over the past couple of months – under our different guises; the one’s that don’t necessarily require a constant Wi-fi connection on our phones so we can access the back-end of Moviehole – and I have to say, in addition to learning so much about this wonderful, inspirational man (who has a boatload of heartwarming and humorous stories), there’s one thing that I personally couldn’t help thinking, throughout the campaign : If tailor-made, and if built to consider his health implications, Fox might just consider another TV series.
He’s not well, and he’s not afraid to admit that, but the 51-year-old still loves the game, and the ability to douse a frame with his creative juices, and those who’ve seen his many guest appearances on shows like “Rescue Me”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and more recently, “The Good Wife” will attest to just how enthusiastic he still seems but more so, how typically wonderful he is still is in front of the camera. It’s taken much from him but Parkinson’s definitely hasn’t robbed the man of his talent. And the fact that Fox gladly lent his time to voicing a character in the recent “Back to the Future” game, suggests if he’s up to it, he’ll do it – whatever it is.
Well, seems he’s up to it. More TV. Rumour around the traps today is that Fox is circling a new sitcom, catered to his situation, from the creative forces of “Easy A” and “Arrested Development”.
The show, I hear, is inspired by the great time the actor had playing an exaggerated version of himself on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” a year or so back. Fox has also always been a big-fan of “Seinfeld” and has longed to do a show in which he could take the mickey out of himself, just as David and Jerry Seinfeld have.
The pilot will, like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and it’s focus on the day-to-day aggravations of Larry David, concentrate of Mike’s real life. Details are scarce, but from what I can gather it’d fix on Fox and his family – including actress wife Tracy Pollan (see below) – and their day-to-day lives, including dealing with Mike’s disease. It’s a comedy though, so clearly it’ll be a very modified version of the actor’s real-life plight. But one can almost guarantee there’ll be a swag of “Back to the Future” references and jokes (Claudia Wells appearance, Mike! Claudia Wells!), some pop-in appearances by former co-stars like Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney (Fox’s on-screen folks from “Family Ties”), and ideally, some ribbing of the Stuart Little character the actor lent his lungs to (“I’m not a bloody mouse, kid!”).
The single-camera comedy, which Fox has so far pitched to four networks and who have all reportedly expressed interest already, is being developed by feature filmmaker Will Gluck (“Easy A”) and writer Sam Laybourne (a producer of TV’s “Cougar Town”) with Sony TV coughing up the cookies for it. So great team behind it.
Fox left full-time TV in 2000, passing the “Spin City” baton to Charlie Sheen. It’ll be bloody wonderful to have him back on the box.
Fox and real-life wife Tracy Pollan on “Family Ties”
Fox in “Back to the Future”
Fox in “Spin City”