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Michael J. Fox is about to return to the small screen full-time for the first time since he went public about his Parkinson’s diagnosis when he left “Spin City.” He tells “Today’s” Willie Geist that it’s really “come full circle,” going from playing the young kid in a wacky TV family on “Family Ties” to playing the middle-aged dad on “The Michael J. Fox Show.”

“It’s very flattering that people are excited about it. … I thought [‘Spin City’] was the last of me,” says Fox. But he adds that Parkinson’s “doesn’t have to be life-shattering or life-ending, it’s just a new thing that pushes you to a new place.”

But Fox does admit that when he got the initial diagnosis, when he was only 30, telling him he had maybe 10 more years to work, he was depressed — “It flattened me.”

And he tells Howard Stern that his first reaction “was to start drinking heavily.” But eventually he got into therapy and started taking it one day at a time.

He also hilariously tells Stern that since his character on the new show has Parkinson’s, there are times he has to “act” like he has Parkinson’s because his character is showing symptoms but Fox himself may not be.

“There are times when I have to fake that I’m symptomatic and it’s strange, it’s confusing,” says Fox.

“The Michael J. Fox Show” premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."