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‘Rescue Me’ braces for controversy

Michael J. Fox to play paraplegic on FX series

It’s been a hot-potato even for the most heavyweight of political pundits in recent years, but the fifth season of the FX series “Rescue Me” will intrepidly delve into the controversial theory that the 9/11 attacks were aided or perpetrated by the U.S. government.

Season five will find the men of Engine 62 divided over the polarizing theory after a journalist working on a 10-year-anniversary story delves up painful memories.

“I think there are a lot of well-thought-out ideas and theories (about 9/11) that to me make more sense than has been popularly espoused, and I’m glad we could explore it in the context of the show,” said cast member Daniel Sunjata, addressing tube journos at the Television Critics Assn. confab in Universal City Tuesday.

That storyline, and others, including a five-episode arc featuring Michael J. Fox as an alcoholic paraplegic, will punctuate “Rescue Me’s” fifth campaign — one which series masterminds Denis Leary and Peter Tolan hope puts the show back on track creatively after what they felt was a lackluster season four.

“We didn’t have the clarity of vision we had in previous years,” noted Tolan. “There was a lack of focus.”

Added series star and exec producer Leary: “We’re five years in. You’ve got to have some suck parts, and we got those out of the way.”

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