In his new NBC comedy, Michael J. Fox takes an anything-goes approach to his battle with Parkinson's disease and even plays it for laughs at times. He hopes viewers will be ready to play along.
"It is my reality. Parkinson's itself, there's nothing horrifying about it to me," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "I don't think it's gothic nastiness. There's nothing horrible about a shaky hand."
Fox said he and producers didn't take a calculated strategy to how they would deal with his Parkinson's on the show. There were no "pie charts," no discussions over how to couch it.
"I just thought I'm going to do this and let it be what it is," he said. " ... Sometimes it's frustrating. Sometimes it's funny."
His much-publicized comeback vehicle, "The Michael J. Fox Show" contains several parallels to the actor's real-life trajectory. He plays a beloved TV anchor man who put his career on hold to spend more time with his family and focus on his health after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.
But now five years later, with the kids busy growing up and Mike growing restless, he's returning to the airwaves.
Fox said that guest appearances on shows like "The Good Wife," "Rescue Me" and others in recent years convinced him that he was ready to get back to TV on a full-time basis.
"They really brought me to a place that this is what I'm built and programmed to do," he said. "Why can't I? There's no reason not to do it."
And now that he's back, Fox is quickly getting into the groove again.
"I'm rebuilding the muscles," he said. "I'm getting more comfortable with the schedule every day."
Fox does admit, however, that he has to pace himself a bit differently than he did when he was acting on "Family Ties."
"But I say to (his wife) Tracy, that's just being old. That's not Parkinsons, it's being 52."
Fox said he doesn't rule out having members of his own family come on the show. In fact, Pollan, has already shot a guest appearance for a future episode.