By Andy Fixmer, Alex Sherman and Meg Tirrell
May 13, 2013
Michael J. Fox left prime-time television more than a decade ago to focus on his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Now he’s back, with the help of drugs that keep his own shaking from the illness mostly under control.
Fox, 51, will star in “The Michael J. Fox Show,” a comedy on Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC about a news anchor who returns to work after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a condition that causes nerve cells to misfire, leaving patients unable to control their movements. The program will air on Thursdays when the new TV season starts, NBC said yesterday in a statement.
NBC is betting the actor’s return to the spotlight can help it climb out of last place among the four major broadcast networks in total viewers. Fox, who disclosed his condition in 1998 and last anchored the series “Spin City” in 2000, has kept many of the specifics of his health struggles private.
“Parkinson’s is different in every patient,” Michael Okun, national medical director of the National Parkinson Foundation, said in a phone interview. “Personally I think he’s being very responsible for not giving a lot of details.”