Fox has appeared in limited roles over the past few years, most notably as a lawyer in CBS' "The Good Wife." But it's his track record as the star of two previous sitcoms that has NBC executives eagerly looking forward to the new show. He left ABC's "Spin City" in 2000 after four seasons, saying he hoped to help find a cure for Parkinson's.
NBC focused this season on improving its standing earlier in the week, building from the popular Sunday night football franchise and a new fall edition of "The Voice" on Mondays and Tuesdays. The strategy worked better than executives envisioned, said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman.
In the "must-see" days of "Friends" and "Seinfeld," NBC was the king of Thursday nights. But its ratings are a fraction of what they were, as its current comedies haven't matched critical acclaim with a large audience.