Thesps return to series starring role shepherded by Sony, Will Gluck

NBC has won the auction for Michael J. Fox’s return to a sitcom starring role with a 22-episode commitment for the project from Sony Pictures TV.

Single-cam series will follow a husband and father of three in New York juggling challenges with his family and career. Project from scribes Will Gluck (“Easy A”) and Sam Laybourne (“Cougar Town,” “Arrested Development”) is loosely based upon Fox’s life, including the fact that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

The pact brings Fox back to the network where he star took off 30 years ago on the hit domestic laffer “Family Ties.”

The untitled project sparked a bidding frenzy among CBS, ABC and NBC, all of which fielded hefty offers.

“To bring Michael J. Fox back to NBC is a supreme honor and we are thrilled that one of the great comedic television stars is coming home again,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “Being in business with him is a supreme pleasure.”

Gluck and Laybourne will exec produce through Gluck’s Sony-based banner Olive Bridge Entertainment. Gluck is also on board to helm the pilot. Olive Bridge’s Richard Schwartz will serve as co-exec producer.

After “Family Ties” and a string of hit features, including “Back to the Future” franchise, in the mid- to late-1990s Fox starred in the ABC comedy “Spin City” before having to bow out because of his Parkinson’s condition.

In recent years, Fox has been back in the public eye through numerous guest spots and recurring roles on series such as “Scrubs,” “Boston Legal” and “Rescue Me” which earned him an Emmy. He’s nommed twice for guest star Emmys this year, for his work on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and CBS’ “The Good Wife.”

NBC Entertainment prexy Jennifer Salke said the Peacock is “thankful Michael, Will and Sam will be a cornerstone of our NBC comedy brand.”

Fox, Gluck and Laybourne are repped by UTA.

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