Well that didn’t take long! It was only last week that we reported on TV networks buzzing over a new sitcom from Michael J. Fox, with director Will Gluck (Easy A) and writer Sam Laybourne (Arrested Development). Now reports have NBC winning a big bidding war to land the project, which Fox will star in. This bodes well for NBC, which finished third at the end of last season’s network ratings. The deal is even sweeter for Fox, as the network has committed to a 22-episode run before a pilot has even been filmed. Hit the jump for more details on how the deal went down and what this means for Fox fans in the future.
Vulture follows up on the story they broke last week, saying that NBC narrowly edged out CBS to land the Fox project. ABC was actually expected to win since they held the scheduling advantage with a half-hour time slot at 9:30pm on Wednesdays following Modern Family. Fox’s sitcom, which is said to be loosely based on his life, seemingly fit well into the ABC show framework, but NBC was the network who walked away with the prize. So what did they give up to get it?
NBC’s Robert Greenblatt made concessions for the creative team of the Fox and Sony Pictures Television project, as well as promising significant marketing muscle. The move was compared with a deal CBS’s Leslie Moonves made over a decade ago to lure Bill Cosby back to television.
The half-hour sitcom will film in New York and is slated to appear in NBC’s lineup starting in the fall of 2013. The year-long run-up will likely give NBC time to film a pilot and find a showrunner in advance of the rest of the shows vying for time slots.