Spying one of the most promising roads yet to return it to its former glory days, NBC passionately pursued and eventually won the right to air the new show from Michael J. Fox—asking him what they what would do, baby, without us, and promising him there ain't no nothing they can't love each other through, in addition to a 22-episode commitment. NBC's Bob Greenblatt released a statement calling it a "supreme honor" to be bringing Fox back home to the network where he first starred in Family Ties some 30 Christ-you're-old years ago, as well as to appear in a story in which optimistic things are written.
It's an honor that was definitely hard-won: All four networks were in serious contention to pick up the show loosely based on Fox's personal life— where he will star as a father of three living in New York City, facing the challenges of Parkinson's disease and people who are assholes about Parkinson's disease—and three of them were not NBC. To convince Fox to come back likely meant giving co-creators Will Gluck and Sam Laybourne tons of creative freedom, and promising to market the shit out of it for months to come. Meanwhile, Matthew Perry got a really nice muffin basket the other day, so you know, he's also doing fine. ("Could there BE more blueberries in this muffin?" he muttered to himself, watching as the now-noticeably-cheap "Welcome Back!" banner above his desk began to sag.)