NBC just announced that Bill Cosby will likely be returning to prime time next fall, 22 years after The Cosby Show ended, in a multi-generational family comedy with the sweater king playing the patriarch. In my corner of Twitter, where TV critics and reporters read the ratings like so many tea leaves, this announcement was met with a swift reminder of what happened last time NBC turned to the past for a future hit: This past September’s The Michael J. Fox show, which features the former Family Ties star in a perfectly adequate single-camera sitcom that has done absolutely nothing in the ratings, nostalgia for Alex. P Keaton be damned.
But Bill Cosby is not Michael J. Fox, even if, like Michael J. Fox, Cosby’s last two TV ventures—1993’s The Cosby Mysteries and 1996’s Cosby, the latter of which even reunited him with Phylicia Rashad—left nary a dent on popular culture. (And yet, in its first season Cosby had 16 million viewers; in its last, 8 million. Either number would be a sizable hit for NBC right now.) Cosby is not just an actor, he’s the creative force behind his series. (And, all due respect to Family Ties, it is no Cosby Show, which has aged beautifully and still makes me laugh.) Unlike Michael J. Fox, Cosby is not relying on someone else to assemble a decent show for him, he’s going to go out and make himself a show
The only reason Fox is still on is because of network idiocy of making a big promise to get him. They got burned.
hawk, You're not in a position to speak for everybody. Learn a little humility and learn to respect other people's decision if they wish to watch his show.
Parkinsons usually hits around age 60, yet Fox was diagnosed at only 30.
I've heard rumours that it might not be Parkinsons and that it was his allegedly heavy drug use and alcohol abuse that messed up his brain, or at least triggered the early onset of Parkinsons..
interesting...I was not aware
Here is another unusual disease cluster. Michael J. Fox most likely contracted Parkinson’s disease in the late 1970s while working on a TV series in his native Canada. Intriguingly, 4 other members of the crew also contracted Parkinson’s.
According to this NY Times article, Parkinson’s ’Clusters’ Getting a Closer Look:
The four people worked together from 1976 to 1980, when it is possible that the disease began in all of them.
Probability about 1 in 1,000
After studying the cluster:
Dr. Donald Calne, director of the neurodegenerative disorders center at the University of British Columbia, estimates that the odds of the four cases occurring at the same time in such a small group of people are less than 1 in 1,000
There is speculation that some environmental agent was the cause of this cluster. One possibility is a drug, since:
There are three classes of drugs that are likely to produce Parkinsonism:
1. Dopamine receptor blocking agents, including the phenothiazines (such as Compazine, Stelazine, and Thorazine), butyrophenones (such as Haldol), and metoclopramide (Reglan).
2. Dopamine-depleting agents, including reserpine (rarely used) and tetrabenazine (used to control dyskinesia)
3. Drugs that act by various known and unknown mechanisms, including the atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Resperidal, Orap, and Zyprexa). (Source)
There have been cases of drug addicts who have taken a badly ’cooked’ dose and have had Parkinson’s-like symptoms.
Other environmental factors in Parkinson’s include weedkillers and pesticides (from MSNBC, no longer available):
One study shows that farm workers who used the common weedkiller Paraquat had two to three times the normal risk of Parkinson’s, a degenerative brain disease that eventually paralyzes patients.
In 2002, an investigation was launched into Leo and Me after an unusual cluster of Parkinson's disease cases was noted among former cast and crew members of the show. Fox and director Don Williams were among the four with the disease, along with a writer and a cameraman.
When asked about the cluster by Howard Stern in a September 25, 2013, interview on The Howard Stern Show, Michael J. Fox stated, "Believe it or not, from a scientific point of view, that's not significant."
so he is a liar too....great.
The series began production in 1976 and despite reports that the series was not broadcast until 1981, the program actually did air locally in B.C. and episodes appeared sporatically on other CBC stations as early as 1978. Leo and Me was a successor to a pilot called The Italian Express, which starred Chuck Shamata as Leo, and as Jamie, Dale Walter
They only did 12 episodes, these people did not work together for very long. If they were doing drugs, which seems likely in 1976 as seeming everyone was on drugs then, I wonder what it was. One bad batch of something seems like a likely cause.
Fox and the three other people with Parkinson's disease were among 125 people who in the late 1970s worked on a Canadian television show called Leo & Me. Four cases among 125 people -- especially young people -- is highly suspicious. Each year Parkinson's strikes only about 1 in 10,000 people, nearly always much older people than the sitcom cast and crew.
Fox is being treated in the U.S. His three co-workers are being treated by Dr. Donald B. Calne, director of the neurodegenerative disorders center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Calne says the odds of this happening by chance are as little as 1 in 20,000.
Calne suspects something similar happened to Fox and his co-workers. "We think there was probably quite a brief exposure some years before symptoms occurred," Calne says. "The way we see it is that probably some quite common virus infects someone and -- because of a particular state of susceptibility at that time -- it gets into the brain. Maybe this is because they had another infection or a toxic exposure. But they are not infective at all -- you can't catch Parkinson's disease from a person who has it."
A cluster of cases occurred among members of the physics department at the University of Pittsburgh when, over a 10-year period, four professors were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Neurologist Michael J. Zigmond, PhD, led the investigation. "There's a couple of serious problems in trying to understand these clusters," Zigmond says. "The first is, we don't know what causes Parkinson's. You can measure whatever you like, but we don't know what to look for. We didn't find anything on the short list of compounds people already feel there is reason to be concerned about. The second problem -- and this is the case for the Fox cluster, too -- is that there is a long delay between the time the disease begins and the time it shows up as a clinical problem. Whatever happened could have taken place on a single day over a period of years. We just don't know enough."
Read the original source: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/foxs-co-workers-got-parkinsons-too#ixzz2rB6lqYsE
well, either that or they did a bad batch of synthetic heroin together.
But Don Williams can't remember any sweeping illness among the crew.
"No, I've tried to think back those years and I'm trying to remember if there was anything significant like that but I can't recall anything," he said.
But Dr. Calne says his own research suggests there is a higher incidence of Parkinson's among people who are frequently exposed to viruses.
"It's common in teachers, the medical workers, and it's very uncommon in people who are at home all the time," he said.
To date, no one has established a link between Parkinson's Disease and viruses or other environmental causes. But there are some studies under way -- one at the University of Washington and another at the Mayo Clinic.
For now, Calne's theory remains just that -- an intriguing theory that, at the very least, raises some interesting questions.
we do however know that people in vancover around this time frame got Parkinsons from bad batches of synthetic heroin.....