Michael J. Fox had well-known TV parents during his “Family Ties” days. Now, he has a new pair.
The five-time Emmy winner returns to series work when NBC launches “The Michael J. Fox Show” Thursday, Sept. 26. Though they aren’t in the debut, his new on-screen parents will turn up soon enough: Candice Bergen and Charles Grodin will guest-star as the parents of New York TV newscaster Mike Henry (Fox), with the potential for the characters to become recurring.
It won’t be the first time the two actors have worked together, though it certainly has been a while. In the 1974 caper movie “11 Harrowhouse,” they played a romantically involved couple entangled in a scheme to steal all the gems stored at England’s Diamond Exchange — check out the picture below for a blast from the past. Grodin and Bergen also have “Saturday Night Live” hosting gigs in common.
Of course, Bergen has quite a television history in general, having won five Emmy Awards as the no-nonsense title journalist in “Murphy Brown.” She also co-starred on “Boston Legal” and was a guest on “Sex and the City” (in a role she reprised in the first feature-film spinoff), “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” and “House, M.D.” (in several appearances as Cuddy’s mother).
Grodin also is a familiar home-screen presence … mainly for being himself, though he acted on such TV classics as “Have Gun – Will Travel” and “The Defenders,” and again last season on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
He was a CNBC host in the mid-1990s, and he also offered commentaries on CBS’ “60 Minutes II.” Grodin also owns an Emmy, as a co-writer of a 1977 special that starred music icon Paul Simon. Additionally, he’s made numerous late-night appearances with the likes of David Letterman, Jay Leno and Johnny Carson.
These are the latest of several big-name castings “The Michael J. Fox Show” has made so far. “Today’s” Matt Lauer turns up as himself in the pilot, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also doing an episode. Fox’s wife Tracy Pollan turns up in an early tale, and Anne Heche will have an arc as a new news anchor at Mike’s station … someone with whom he has a professional past.