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Fox’s NBC comedy not focused on illness

Michael J. Fox says Parkinson’s disease is not a major storyline of his upcoming NBC comedy.

On “The Michael J. Fox Show,” the actor plays Mike Henry, a former local NBC newscaster with Parkinson’s who left the business to spend more time with his family. The series begins when he returns to work now that his kids are older.

At Saturday’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, Fox said he didn’t think about how others with Parkinson’s would react to the show because he doesn’t “vet creative instinct.”

“I just go with it,” he said. “I feel that this is the reflection of my experience and certainly in the pilot it was more prevalent than it is in subsequent scripts.”

The premise of the show does have similarities to Fox’s real-life story. The actor left “Spin City” in 2000 as he tried different treatments and medications to treat Parkinson’s. He also used the opportunity to spend quality time with his four kids during their formative years.

Because Fox plays a local NBC newscaster, the show will tap real people to do guest appearances that make the story more believable. Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are in the pilot. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear in an episode as himself.

“The Michael J. Fox Show” premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m.

Cyrus to get MTV special for album

MTV will become Miley Television this fall.

Actress-singer Miley Cyrus, 20, is getting a one-hour documentary – not yet titled – on the music network. The announcement was made Friday by MTV Programming President Susanne Daniels.

Cameras will follow Cyrus as she works on her new album, due later this year.

Her current single, “We Can’t Stop,” is No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Cyrus starred in Disney’s “Hannah Montana” for four seasons. The series ended in January 2011.

Allen takes issue with use of ‘N-word’

Tim Allen isn’t a fan of the N-word – not just the word, but the phrase.

The 60-year-old actor-comedian told the Tampa Bay Times that the term “N-word” is worse than the racial slur it represents.

The star of the TV shows “Home Improvement” and “Last Man Standing,” and films such as “The Santa Clause” said he thinks the criticism that keeps non-black comedians from using the actual N-word is a step backward from when Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce purposefully used such language.

The birthday bunch

Movie director Andrew V. McLaglen is 93. Actor Darryl Hickman is 82. “Garfield” creator Jim Davis is 68. One-hit wonder Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”) is 67. TV producer Dick Ebersol is 66. Actress Sally Struthers is 65. Singer Afroman is 39. Actor Nolan Gerard Funk is 27. Rapper Soulja Boy is 23.