Not that there had been any doubt, but The Michael J. Fox Show has been cancelled. When the series was taken off the schedule at the beginning of February, the move was described not as an official cancellation but as pulling the show off the schedule with the remaining 7 episodes to air at a later date. That is still TBD. The Michael J. Fox Show, which completed filming its 22-episode order in December, never got traction and logged those dismal 0.7 and 0.6 18-49 ratings before it was benched indefinitely. Fox has since returned to CBS‘ The Good Wife, reprising his recurring role.
UPDATED: NBC has decided to pull The Michael J. Fox Show from the schedule a week after doing the same with its companion Sean Saves The World. Starting this Thursday, NBC will have Olympics coverage in primetime. Beginning February 27, the first Thursday after the Winter Olympics, NBC will air Hollywood Game Night in the 9 PM hour, following Community and Parks & Recreation. Hollywood Game Night, which is produced by Sean Saves The World exec producers Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, is slated to run through April 3. There is no decision what will go in the 9-10 PM slot after that. Production on The Michael J. Fox Show wrapped in December, and 15 of the 22 completed episodes have aired. There are no plans for the remaining 7 episodes, though the show is not officially cancelled, and NBC brass will try to find a spot for them. All three new NBC Thursday comedies — early casualty Welcome To the Family, Michael J. Fox and Sean Saves The World — have done very poorly in the ratings. In their most recent airing January 24, both Michael J. Fox and Sean logged an underwhelming 0.7 in 18-49 a week after Michael J. Fox posted that dismal 0.6 demo rating. “We like [MJ Fox]. We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find …
It’s the end of the road for NBC comedy series Sean Saves The World, which today stopped production on its freshman order. The show had received a 5-episode back order for a total of 18. Fourteen episodes have been shot, 12 have aired. NBC had already scheduled an SNL Sports Spectacular special this week, preempting its Thursday lineup, and the network brass will look at the remaining two Sean segments after the Winter Olympics. Along with fellow Thursday newbie comedy The Michael J. Fox Show – and the entire NBC Thursday comedy block – Sean Saves The World has struggled in the ratings, most recently logging a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49. “We like (MJ Fox). We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find an audience for them in those time periods,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA a week ago. Sean Saves The World starred Hayes as a divorced gay father juggling a career, a 14-year-old daughter and an overbearing mother. It joins another NBC Thursday freshman comedy, Welcome To The Family, which was cancelled in October. Michael J. Fox had a straight-to-series 22-episode order that was completed in December.
The success on other nights this fall has made NBC‘s ratings struggles on Thursday even more glaring. “Thursday night is a real challenge for us, something that we’re well aware of as we head into pilot season and start to think about the fall schedule next year,” NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA today. “Comedy has proven to be very difficult for us.” No kidding. This past Thursday, The Michael J. Fox Show hit a series low of 0.6 rating in 18-49, a number a show rarely logs and lives to see another airing. ”We’re, obviously, not happy about a .6 for any show and especially for Michael J. Fox,” Greenblatt said. “We like that show. We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find an audience for them in those time periods. So we’re going to still work hard to see what we can do on Thursday nights. It is a real, real uphill battle.”
Greenblatt’s initial assessment of Michael J. Fox Show‘s renewal chances was pretty grim: “Obviously, we have to see how it plays out for the next few months and then get in the scheduling room and make some hard decisions. It’s not anywhere near where we’d like it to be.” He got more optimistic as the session went on. “I’d love to figure out a way to bring it back,” he said. “We may move it around the schedule a little bit.”
Candice Bergen, Charles Grodin To Play ‘Michael J. Fox’ Parents; Christina Chang Recurs On ‘Nashville’
Meet Michael J. Fox’s new TV parents: Candice Bergen and Charles Grodin, have been tapped for guest/potential recurring roles on Fox’s new NBC comedy series. He stars in The Michael J. Fox Show as popular New York news anchor Mike Henry, who returns to work after years as a stay-at-home dad following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. On Fox’s previous NBC series, Family Ties (1982-89), his parents were played by Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross. Grodin next will film the feature While We’re Young, playing Naomi Watts’ father.
Christina Chang (CSI: Miami) has been cast in a recurring role on the ABC drama series Nashville. She will play Deacon’s (Charles Esten) lawyer (and maybe something more). She is managed by Silver Lining.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – the darling of NBC, having recently appeared on Saturday Night Live, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – appears in an upcoming episode of NBC’s new Michael J. Fox comedy series but immediately puts Fox to sleep, the actor explained this morning. Fox plays a version of himself on The Michael J. Fox Show – a well-known, much-loved personality, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease living in Manhattan. Except his Michael Henry character isn’t a beloved former TV comedy and movie actor — he’s a local newscaster. In one of the early episodes, Henry lands a big interview with Christie but, having been up a couple days straight, falls asleep in the first moments of the interview.
Henry works at the NBC owned-and-operated station in the country’s No. 1 market. Fox explained at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 this morning that the show creators were looking for a way to have the character be “recognizable, but not make him an actor or an athlete – an actor would be boring and athlete would be impossible.”
Henry works at the NBC station because “a fictional television network didn’t give us 22 episodes,” series co-creator/exec producer Will Gluck joked-but-not-really. Struggling Today Show anchors Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are featured in the pilot – and they could show up going forward said Fox, in which case the show would be “not doing it to save them” but to service the primetime show, that’s been given a plum Thursday timeslot. Fox, who stepped down from his last TV series starring role, on ABC’s Spin City when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, said that coming back to the work schedule “I knew one of two things would happen: either I was going to atrophy as I went on in the year, or rebuild the muscles. And I’m finding I’m rebuilding the muscles. I’m more comfortable with the schedule every week.”
NBC’s New Show Trailers: ‘Dracula’, ‘Ironside’, ‘Michael J Fox’, ‘Sean Saves The World’, ‘Welcome To The Family’
Here are new trailers just released by NBC for the network’s new fall shows, which were officially unveiled yesterday ahead of the upfront presentation that’s just getting underway in New York. Yesterday, NBC released some first-look clips. Here are the latest trailers — still waiting for About A Boy and The Family Guide it seems,so keep checking back:
Dracula — Drama
Ironside — Drama
NBC First-Look Teasers: ‘Ironside’, ‘The Blacklist’, ‘Michael J. Fox’, ‘Sean Saves The World’, ‘Welcome To The Family’
UPDATED: Check out first clips from NBC‘s new dramas Ironside and The Blacklist, plus comedies The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves The World, and Welcome To The Family, part of the just-unveiled 2013-2014 line-up. More teaser clips added as they come.
Ironside — Drama
Produced by Universal Television, Davis Entertainment, Yellow Brick Road Productions. From writer/executive producer Michael Caleo and executive producers Teri Weinberg, John Davis, John Fox, Ron West and David Semel:
The Blacklist — Drama
Produced by Sony Pictures Television. From writer/executive producer Jon Bokenkamp and executive producers John Eisendrath, John Davis and John Fox:
The Michael J. Fox Show — Comedy
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment. From writer/executive producer Sam Laybourne and executive producers Alex Reid and Will Gluck and co-executive producer Richard Schwartz: