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Michael J. Fox gets legal in return to TV

Former ‘Spin City’ star will guest star on ‘Boston Legal’
/ Source: Reuters

Actor Michael J. Fox, who gave up the TV sitcom “Spin City” five years ago to focus his battle on Parkinson’s disease, will return to ABC later this season as a guest star on the courtroom drama “Boston Legal.”

Fox will play a corporate executive who suffers from lung cancer and is represented by the show’s fictional law firm of Crane, Poole and Schmidt in a court case involving a promising cancer-fighting drug, ABC said.

During the course of Fox’s three-episode stint on the show, his character will become involved with attorney Denise Bauer, played by series regular Julie Bowen.

“Boston Legal,” from veteran TV producer David E. Kelley, stars James Spader and William Shatner as a couple of unorthodox trial lawyers. Both won Emmy awards last month for their performances on the show.

Fox, 44, who sprang to fame in the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties” and the time-travel adventure film “Back to the Future,” was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease while starring as Deputy Mayor Michael Flaherty on the ABC comedy “Spin City.”

He left the show at the end of its fourth season in May of 2000 but returned for a handful of guest appearances in the fall of 2001. He also did a couple of guest spots on the NBC hospital comedy “Scrubs” last year.

Other guest starsFox is not the only TV veteran coming out of semi-retirement for a brief return to prime time.

Adam West, who starred as the Caped Crusader on ABC’s 1960s “Batman” series, will guest star as himself on an upcoming superhero-themed episode of the CBS sitcom “The King of Queens.”

And in another odd bit of TV casting, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will appear next Tuesday on an episode of the WB comedy “Gilmore Girls.”

Meanwhile, on daytime television, actor-musician Rick Springfield will return to the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” as Dr. Noah Drake, the role he originated  25 years ago.