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Tuning in to TV: New series in the works for Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox is planning a return to series TV, more than a decade after he left to concentrate on fighting Parkinson’s disease.
The actor, who first gained fame in the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties” and later headlined “Spin City,” will star in a comedy that’s in development at Sony Pictures Television for 2013, according to people with knowledge of the project, the Associated Press reports.
The people, who lacked authority to publicly discuss the matter, spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The project has drawn strong interest from the major networks, they said.
The actor’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sony declined comment.
Mr. Fox, 51, who starred in the “Back to the Future” movie franchise, reportedly is working with Will Gluck, director of the film “Easy A,” and writer Sam Laybourne, whose credits include “Cougar Town” and “Arrested Development.”
The actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, left “Spin City” in 2000 and said he intended to focus on helping find a cure for the disease. He started a foundation, which bears his name, to fund research toward that goal.
The new Sony project was first reported by the entertainment website Vulture.
A&E cancels ‘Family Jewels’ after 7-season run
A&E is pulling the plug on “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”
The reality effort — which follows the Kiss bassist, his longtime partner, Shannon Tweed, and their two children, Nick and Sophie — premiered in 2006 to strong ratings for the then-little-watched cable network.
“For seven great seasons, Gene, Shannon, Nick and Sophie have been part of the A&E family, and we could not be more proud of the unparalleled run of 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels,' ” the network said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “On behalf of everyone at A&E, we’d like to thank the production team at Thinkfactory Media, Gene and his amazing family for their partnership, collaboration and for opening up their lives, warts-and-all, to us throughout the years.”
Added the family: “With Kiss on tour and with my other business commitments, we have decided to draw the final curtain on our show. It has been a wonderful, life-altering experience for our family, and after seven successful seasons, we feel it’s time to move on. … This is not the end of our story, it’s the beginning of a new chapter. With love — Gene, Shannon, Sophie and Nick.”
The news comes as A&E focuses on freshening its fare with new efforts in both the scripted and unscripted realm. In May, A&E canceled “Dog the Bounty Hunter” after eight seasons.
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