Michael J. Fox‘s four kids might find some familiar scenes in their dad’s new NBC sitcom, about a husband and father with Parkinson’s disease who decides to go back to work after taking some time off.
“There are some things taken from [my] life,” he tells reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour.
“For example, my youngest daughter, when she went to camp a couple of years ago, took us aside and said, ‘I’m warning you, when I go camping and you see pictures on the Internet, I’m trying out a new smile.’ And we transposed that to the daughter on the show, when she doesn’t like the way she runs, so she rehearses a new running method. There’s little snips and pieces of the experience of raising teenagers.”
The Michael J. Fox Show, which makes its debut on September 26, marks the 52-year-old’s return to a regular series role after an absence of 13 years. Fox left Spin City in 2001 to spend more time with his wife, Tracy Pollan, and their kids and focus on seeking a cure for Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1991.
“I spent that time with my family during their formative years and enjoyed that,” he admits. But after guesting on shows like The Good Wife, Boston Legal and Rescue Me, Fox felt like it was time to get back to doing what he knows best.
“It’s what I love to do and it’s what I’ve enjoyed throughout my life. And I just thought, ‘Why can’t I?'” he says.
With six episodes of the new show filmed, Fox says he’s “really happy with how it feels to be back at work,” and while stories from his real life are being written into the show, so are some of the people – his wife and former Family Ties costar just filmed a guest role.
“Tracy actually just did an episode of the show and she was great,” he reveals. And Fox is hoping to see more Family Ties and Spin City costars appear on the new show.
“As characters come up we’ll certainly mine old friendships and work to get them involved,” he admits. “I think that would be great.”
The show’s executive producer Sam Laybourne reveals that they are currently casting Fox’s TV parents paging Alex P. Keaton’s mom and dad – Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter!
• With reporting by Gabrielle Olya