NBC (CMCSA) has won a bidding war for a new single-camera series starring Michael J. Fox. Writer Sam Laybourne ("Cougar Town," "Arrested Development") and director Will Gluck ("Friends with Benefits," "Easy A") are behind the project. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Gluck will direct the pilot episode while Laybourne will serve as the half-hour show's executive producer.
According to the New York Times, the series is based on Fox's own life. It centers on a busy father of three who attempts to maintain a career while suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Earlier this month, The Wrap reported that the show was being shopped by the actor and Sony Pictures Television (SPE). As Vulture points out, the series was picked up even though a pilot episode has yet to be filmed-a rare occurrence in the television industry.
In 1991, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and went public with his illness in 1998. The Canadian born actor was starring in the series "Spin City" at the time.
"It's not that I had a deep, dark secret," Fox told People magazine in 2008. "It was just my thing to deal with. But this box I had put everything into kind of expanded to a point where it's difficult to lug around. What's inside the box isn't inhibiting me. It's the box itself. I think I can help people by talking. I want to help myself and my family."
At the time of Fox's announcement, "Spin City" was in its third season. Fox decided to leave the series the following year to focus on his personal life. He was replaced by Charlie Sheen but continued to make guest appearances for the rest of the show's run.
In his book "Lucky Man," Fox revealed that he was unable to accept his condition at first but chose not to live in denial-setting up the Michael J. Fox Fund to facilitate research and aid those suffering from Parkinson's.
Though "Spin City" ended in 2000, Fox has appeared on such shows as "Boston Legal," "The Good Wife," "Scrubs," and "Rescue Me," which earned him the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama. The actor rose to fame as Alex Keaton on the hit series "Family Ties," which ran from 1982 to 1989.
In addition to his TV roles, Fox has appeared in such iconic films as "Teen Wolf," "Back to the Future," and "Casualties of War."
The yet-untitled series is set to begin filming later this year and will debut in fall 2013. In a statement, NBC Entertainment chairmen Robert Greenblatt said that it was an honor for the network (which aired "Family Ties") to reunite with Fox.
"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.
Fox's statement expressed the same sentiment.
"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."