Flashback to spring 2013, time for Michael J. Fox to cast the wife for his eponymous sitcom comeback. What did you think… he would do at this moment?
Interestingly but not surprisingly, a face from the beloved actor’s past (and present, and future) — wife/Family Ties love interest Tracy Pollan — was briefly considered for the role of The Michael J. Fox Show‘s Annie.
Instead, Pollan merely pops up in the second half of tonight’s double-episode premiere (NBC, starting at 9/8c), as a flirty femme who creates an awkward situation for Fox’s (Parkinson’s-afflicted) TV news anchor.
Explaining to TVLine how Pollan wound up as his TV neighbor, Fox says, “It came from when we first talked about whether or not we wanted to do the show together, the whole show together,” with Pollan playing Annie Henry.
Ultimately, such an arrangement was (probably smartly) determined to be too much together time for the longtime marrieds. “We talked about how it would be like being a family on TV and being a family at home… and a family on TV… and never having a break from it,” Fox recalls.
After Breaking Bad‘s Betsy Brandt landed the plum role of Annie Henry, Fox was resolved to keep his Mrs. somewhat in the picture. “I said to Tracy, ‘I really want you to be on the show,’ and she had this idea: ‘What about as a neighbor who flirts with you?’ And I said, ‘Yes! Sexy Neighbor, that’s great!'”
Pollan herself tells us, “It was just so much fun” playing a bit of an unwitting temptress, enticing mild-mannered Mike Henry with her baked goods and such. “It was such a detour from our life together, and a fun, different way to work together.”
Alas for Family Ties fans, three proved to be a crowd when it came to this reunion, so as much fun as it may have been for a certain Billy Vera song to suddenly come on the radio during one of their “reunion” scenes, Fox and Pollan have sorta had their fill of “At This Moment” aka Alex and Ellen’s love song.
“I love Billy Vera as a person and as a musician, and I love that song. But we are so haunted by that song,” Fox explains. Adds Pollan with a laugh: “Yeah, that one follows us around everywhere!”
To Michael, Tracy: Sorry, but I must: