Though it's not definite, NBC is penciling Fox's 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 one-hour episode this spring.
In the family comedy, Fox's character will be the father of two teenage children and a younger boy, NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke said Sunday. It will be set in New York City and recorded there, too, she said.
The real-life disease has left Fox an object of pity-fueled admiration, yet Fox "approaches his life and his work with a lot of irreverence," Salke said.
"It's a family show that has him dealing with work and office relationships as well as dealing with kind of his public persona, which is very real," she said. "You see, he gets a standing ovation everywhere he shows up, and the idea that he's sort of been put up on this pedestal by the country and the world, really. He's just a regular guy, who gets frustrated, who gets mad at having to sit at home."
Fox is meeting this week with actresses who may be cast as his wife on the show.
Fox has appeared in limited roles over the last few years, most notably as a lawyer in CBS's The Good Wife. But it's his track record as the star of two sitcoms that has NBC executives eagerly looking forward to the show. He left ABC's Spin City in 2000 after four seasons, saying he hoped to help find a cure for Parkinson's.
NBC focused this season on improving its standing earlier in the week, building from the popular Sunday night football franchise and a new fall edition of The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays. The strategy worked better than executives envisioned, said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman.
In the "must-see" days of Friends and Seinfeld, NBC was the king of Thursday nights. But its ratings are a fraction of what they were, as its current comedies haven't matched critical acclaim with a large audience.