Judging by the wise ass tweets I've come across these past few days, not even someone suffering from Parkinson's disease gets a free pass anymore. Michael J. Fox's new prime time series on NBC is loosely based on his life as a father who balances work and Parkinson's. And it's a sitcom. If that's not chancy enough, NBC ordered a full 22 episodes without first shooting a pilot or going through the usual development process. Dorothy Pomerantz at Forbes has her doubts:
Fox is a beloved TV icon. There's no question about that. And he consistently ranks high on our list of the Most Trusted Celebrities. And I'm rooting for the show which won't shy away from Fox's Parkinson's. But brave and admirable don't always equal ratings and right now, NBC desperately needs ratings. The Olympics were a brief bit of sunlight for the network that is now sinking back into fourth-place doldrums. [NBC's head of entertainment Bob Greenblatt] has said that he wants NBC to reassert its strength as a sitcom leader and many pundits have said that the new Fox show is an example of how Greenblatt is going to do that. But Fox hasn't starred on a TV show in 12 years. He's been seen in the odd guest-starring role on shows like The Good Wife and Scrubs but what NBC is really banking on here is nostalgia, that the love we felt for Alex Keaton on Family Ties (which ended its run in 1989) will be strong enough to get us to embrace another Fox show.