|Fox (right) with co-star Jack Gore|
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–Michael J. Fox says his Parkinson’s will be as much a part of his new NBC TV show as it is a part of his life.
“Parkinson’s itself, there’s nothing horrifying about it to me,” he told critics at Saturday’s packed NBC TCA session. “There’s nothing horrifying about someone with shaky hands… That’s just our reality; we have no control.”
Fox plays a network news anchor who comes out of retirement. Fox was never retired, but he did step away from anything but guest roles after Spin City, a year or so after going public with the state of his health. That move allowed him to pursue treatment for Parkinson’s as well as enjoy many formative years with his three children. Their ages now are 24, 18 and 11.
Better medication has helped control side effects, but Fox said just being rested has helped bring him back to TV.
Plus he realized he was good at being a sitcom star, missed it, and why the hell not.
Fox joked about his affliction during the session. Unable to locate where a question was coming from (something which tricks most star in this giant ballroom), Fox muttered, “Parkinson’s. I’ll sync up with you sooner or later.”
Later in the scrum he said he didn’t really feel the disease affected his timing, often singled out as his greatest comedy gift. “Maybe in some physical stuff,” he allowed.
Although that could also be chalked up to age. “That’s not Parkinson’s, that’s just being old,” Fox, 52, says he often tells his wife.
The cast has already shot six episodes of the sitcom, which is based in New York. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has taped a guest segment as a newsroom guest.
Co-star Wendell Pierce, who plays his news boss Harris, says the two often talk hockey. Pierce is a big Rangers fan, while Fox pulls for his beloved Bruins. “He died a little in that Stanley Cup final,” Pierce told this Leafs fan who has no sympathy whatsoever.
It was also announced at the session that Anne Heche will be joining The Michael J. Fox Show as a nemesis who butts heads with Fox’s character. The series premieres Sept. 26 on NBC and Global.