[TV] Michael J. Fox's New Sitcom Headed To NBC
Posted by Joseph Lee on 08.22.2012
Returning to the network that made him famous...
Vulture reports that Michael J. Fox's upcoming comedy project has been acquired by NBC after a huge bidding war. FOX was originally on the network thirty years ago when Family Ties debuted.
NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt and entertainment division chief Jen Salke offered Fox and Sony Pictures TV a commitment to make and air a full season of 22 episodes of the show even before a pilot is filmed, something that never happens in current television. NBC also made guarantees to producers about how the show (a single-camera comedy) will be scheduled and marketed. With the commitment made, NBC will likely start promoting the show soon.
The show will shoot in New York City, which is where Fox's last sitcom, Spin City, was shot. All four networks were competing for the comedy. CBS was in the mix down to the final moments of negotiations while ABC and FOX were out of the hunt early. ABC's failure is a blow to network chief Paul Lee, as he offered the 9:30 PM Wednesday timeslot following Modern Family.
The comedy will be a half-hour each week and is inspired by his own life. NBC plans to give Fox and Sony creative freedom and unheard-of levels of marketing support. The deal is similar to one made by CBS and Les Moonves who tried to get Bill Cosby to return to TV after The Cosby Show. While the return wasn't a huge success, it did run for several seasons and built the foundation for what would eventually bring CBS a lot of success, Everybody Loves Raymond.
The Fox comedy will debut in fall 2013, but producers will likely take advantage of the year's time to shoot a pilot before any of the other potential 2013-14 shows. A veteran showrunner will likely be attached to the show, as creator Sam Laybourne (Arrested Development) hasn't run his own show yet and director/executive producer Will Gluck is making films like Easy A.