Michael J. Fox is defying the disease that sidelined him, and is returning to a full-time acting gig.
The actor has been playing smaller roles in such TV shows as "The Good Wife" and "Rescue Me" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." But Fox will soon play a news anchorman returning to work after sitting at home for five years as a result of being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Sound familiar? Yes, Fox says the new comedy will draw from his own life.
In an interview with David Letterman, Fox says "As long as I a play a guy who has Parkinson's, I can do anything."
Fox says his character mirrors what he's been through. "He's getting stir crazy and wants to go back to work. He sits his family down and says I want to go back to work. And they're like, don't let the door hit you ... on the way out. How can we miss you if you won't go a way," Fox tells Letterman with a smile.
Fox took a break from acting after he was diagnosed with Parkenson's in 1998. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Fox sounds like he's done being limited by that diagnosis.
"You can sit and project out and say, 'Oh, I'm going to have this and it's going to be like this and I won't be able to do that and I won't be able to do this. But it's much more about right now. What can I do right now? ... I just thought, 'I love to do this and as much as anyone will let me do it and give me the air time to do it in -- I should do it.' And so, I'm doing it."
Fox says that he'll freely draw from his own family's experiences in the show. And Fox, who starred in two hugely popular TV situation comedy shows – "Family Ties," and "Spin City" – is likely to fill a needed hole in the NBC broadcasting lineup.
The show doesn't have a name yet. But here's how the Associated Press analyzes the return of Michael J. Fox as a featured character in a regular series:
"Though it's not definite, NBC is penciling the comedy in for September on its low-rated Thursday schedule. The long-running Thursday comedy "30 Rock" ends its run on Jan. 31, and "The Office" will exit after a special one-hour episode this spring.
In the family comedy, Fox's character will be the father of two teen-age children and a younger boy, Jennifer Salke, the network's entertainment president, said on Sunday. It will be set in New York City, and filmed there, too, she said.
In real life, Fox and his wife, Tracy Pollan, have four children of their own.