18 September 2013 9:30 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Early in “The Michael J. Fox Show,” the central character — who is not exactly Michael J. Fox, but close enough — tells his wife of an appearance on the “Today” show: “I’d just be a feel-good story to them.” And therein lies the nagging problem with a series that, given Fox’s heroic struggles against Parkinson’s disease, many people will be rooting for, and would cheer harder if only it were better. Having Fox back on NBC Thursday roughly 30 years later has a certain symmetry, but generating sustained interest in his comeback vehicle will require more than just good will.

The series does have fun with the meta aspects of Fox resisting a sympathy factor in plotting his return to TV — in the show as a local TV newsman in New York, where he has been nursing a longstanding (if apparently one-sided) rivalry with “Today’s” Matt Lauer. (Someone »


- Brian Lowry

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