This fall television season looks like a great one for comedy, and the cast of "The Michael J. Fox Show" hopes their show wins the heart of viewers.
It might take some time; when the NBC sitcom debuted last Thursday, it was crushed in the ratings by Robin Williams's "The Crazy Ones."
Thanks to record ratings of lead-in "The Big Bang Theory," "The Crazy Ones" doubled the viewership of "The Michael J. Fox Show," with 15.6 million over 7.2 million.
It was a blow to NBC, which had big hopes for Fox, who is headlining his own comedy for the first time since he left "Spin City" in 2000 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
In an unprecedented move last spring, the network ordered a full season of the show, without even seeing a pilot.
Before its premiere, the comedy received warm reviews and a lot of buzz, which gratified Fox.
"It's nice. A lot of heart went into it and a lot of love and a lot of energy," he told Yahoo TV at an NBC premiere event recently. "I'm glad that people are responding to it … and getting the spirit of it and getting the humor of it and the tone of it."
"The Michael J. Fox Show" revolves around Fox's character, a TV reporter who's returning to the biz after retiring due to Parkinson's (sound familiar?).
On-screen wife Betsy Brandt ("Breaking Bad") was also thrilled by early critical acclaim. "I just want it to be a huge, huge hit," she said. "I love this family so much."
It's still possible for "The Michael J. Fox Show" to be a huge hit; starting this week, it won't go head-to-head with "The Crazy Ones" when it airs at its normal time slot at 9:30 p.m.
The stars believe their show will eventually translate the initial buzz into great ratings.
"It's unique. It's different. A lot of it has to do with Michael and Parkinson's," said Conor Romero, who plays Fox's son. "He's coming back after I think 13 years now — he's coming back to what he loves to do. And he's not letting anyone stop him, which is awesome."
Watch the first two episodes:
"The Michael J. Fox Show" airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
- Arts & Entertainment