Fall TV's 7 flops: What went wrong?

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The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)
Why it might have worked: Fox is a proven sitcom star who’s had some winning guest appearances in recent years on shows like The Good Wife.
Why it so didn’t: There are very few actors who can carry the weight of a self-titled broadcast TV sitcom. Some TV insiders quietly say carrying one while also having Parkinson’s is an insurmountable challenge for any actor. Maybe so, maybe not. NBC and Fox deserve credit for trying. The Michael J. Fox Show is the top-rated entry on this list due to its semi-decent double-header premiere week, and it was given a full-season order long before it premiered. But the show has fallen sharply since its debut and last night had a mere 1.1 adult demo rating. It hasn’t been helped by ditching the confident, crafty, charmingly self-centered persona that made Fox connect with viewers on Family Ties and Spin City. Here Fox’s network TV anchor character is idolized by an adoring public and is a perfectly sweet husband and father, one who’s struggling with a terrible chronic illness. That sound funny?


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