As his newest series continues, Michael J. Fox has a loyal supporter in Bill Lawrence.
The executive producer of “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and TBS’ new “Ground Floor” — premiering Thursday, Nov. 14 — teamed with “Family Ties” mentor Gary David Goldberg to create “Spin City” for Fox, who starred in the first four seasons of the mayor’s-office sitcom. Now, Lawrence is rooting for “The Michael J. Fox Show” in the early weeks of its Thursday run on NBC.
“Look, I’m a biased guy” toward Fox, Lawrence allows to Zap2it. “He made my career, and I want nothing but great things for that guy. Anytime I turn that show on, and I’ve watched each episode, I watch it with a smile because he makes me happy. It’s like a guy rooting for his favorite baseball team.”
Lawrence is watching something else closely, too: FOX’s primetime lineup. He’s also executive-producing the network’s midseason sitcom “Surviving Jack,” starring “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” alum Christopher Meloni as a sudden full-time dad, and it’s possible that show could be called into the lineup sooner.
“It used to just be that you’d get on TV and they’d hopefully promote you well and you’d have a shot,” Lawrence reflects. “Now, there are so many channels and it’s such a really rough landscape out there — specifically for network comedy — that you enter with an awareness that regardless of the quality of your show, you need the circumstances to be right.
“It’s not the right time slot if everything is falling apart around you,” reasons Lawrence, “and you’re not going to survive, no matter what. I really like the two broadcast-network shows we’re doing (the other being NBC’s ‘Undateable’), but my worry would be that they get thrown on too quickly to plug a hole.”
With such successes as NBC’s “The Blacklist” and FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow,” Lawrence knows how well new dramas are faring this season. “I wish a comedy had really ‘popped’ this season, and I’m still hoping that there is one. Right now, dramas are killing it, both on network and on cable … and they’re good. I’d like a comedy to jump out, though.”