May 13, 2013

THE SKED 2013 UPFRONTS: NBC Trailer – “The Michael J. Fox Show”


As part of today’s Upfronts presentation, NBC has released full trailers of its new series.  Now, it’s absolutely unclear to judge a TV series from its trailer–even more than it’s unfair to judge a movie by one–because apart from the fact that you’re only seeing a few carefully selected and edited moment, TV shows are living entities that can change and perhaps improve over time.  (Just ask Scandal or Parks & Recreation, to name two.)  On the other hand, trailers tell you what a network’s spin on its show is, and thus what will be marketed and emphasized going forward.  Plus, for now it’s all we have.  So onward.

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How many Parkinson’s Disease jokes will be enough for THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW?  The 3-minute trailer starts with one (Michael is trying to dial area code 917, but ends up calling 911, prompting a police visit) and ends with one (Michael trying to serve scrambled eggs), and there are plenty more in between.   The show tries to undercut the obvious by having gags about the sentimentality of it all (Fox plays a TV newscaster, and makes jokes about the slo-mo promos the station is doing about him; his daughter tries to get an easy grade with a tearjerking home movie about what a hero he is), but really, what else is here?  Fox looks to be his charming self, but under the shakiness jokes, this seems to be a fairly generic family comedy.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."