CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Michael J. Fox returns to the small screen with a new television show that is named for him. “The Michael J. Fox Show” was scheduled to premiere at 9 p.m. Thursday on NBC.
In it, Fox plays Mike Henry, a network news anchor who is reviving his career following a hiatus that came when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The character is a variation of Fox who received the same diagnosis in 1991.
Members of Charleston’s Parkinson’s Support Group were planning to be watching. A premiere party was being held at the Charleston Civic Center Lounge on Thursday night.
“I think we’re excited about it because we all grew up with Michael J. Fox, Alex P. Keaton, Marty McFly and he has tackled this disease head on,” said George Manahan, CEO of The Manahan Group in Charleston. Manahan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was 49.
“He’s (Fox) not afraid to come back into the limelight and, I think, we’re excited about that.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually and cannot be cured. However, it can be controlled with medications.
Manahan said Fox’s new show is not about Parkinson’s disease, though, it is about a character living with disease. He said that’s an important distinction. “People with Parkinson’s want to be viewed as other things in life, a father, a son, a partner, a community leader, a businessman,” he said.
Fox was on NBC back in the 1980s with “Family Ties” and was Marty McFly on the big screen in “Back to the Future.” He left his starring role on “Spin City” in 1999 after revealing he had Parkinson’s disease.
Since then, Fox has made a number of guest appearances on televisions shows including “The Good Wife” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”