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The Boston Globe

Television

Television Review

Michael J. Fox, Robin Williams return to TV

It’s hard to imagine the new comedies from Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams being very good. Many years have passed since they were sitcom stars, and the nature of TV humor has changed; it has gotten less schmaltzy and more coolly ironic. Fox left “Spin City” in 2000 to spend time with his family and promote Parkinson’s research, and Williams’s “Mork and Mindy” was canceled in 1982. Since then, TV has undergone a single-camera revolution, and the cringe-toned likes of “The Office” and “30 Rock” have come and gone.

It’s also hard to imagine the new sitcoms from Fox and Williams, which premiere opposite each other Thursday at 9 p.m., being deeply awful — especially Fox’s. Since Fox left his series, he has put in a few unforgettable guest stints on “The Good Wife,” “Rescue Me,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” each time proving that he’s still in fine form despite his disease, that his timing is still spot on. And Williams, a movie star, would only return to TV if the material were good enough, right?

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