January 17, 2013 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Breaking Bad's' Betsy Brandt to Play Michael J. Fox's Wife in NBC Comedy
NBC has cast the plumb role of Michael J. Fox's wife.
Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt has been tapped to star opposite Fox in NBC's upcoming semi-autobiographical comedy series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Inspired by the former Family Ties actor's life, NBC ordered 22 episodes of the untitled single-camera comedy starring Fox as a husband and father of three from New York City dealing with family, career and challenges -- including Parkinson's disease.
Fox will play Mike Burnaby, a former lead anchor at a local station in New York City who decides to go back to work after Parkinson's forced him to take time off.
Brandt, who has played Marie Schrader in the AMC drama from Vince Gilligan since the pilot, will play Mike's wife, Annie. She's described as being tough yet loyal with a goofy side, and works at the school of the couple's middle child, Eve (who has yet to be cast).
Brandt joins a cast that includes Wonderfalls' Katie Finneran as Leigh, Mike's younger sister; Conor Romero (American Gangster) as Ian, Mike's teenage son; and newcomer Jack Gore, who will play Graham, Mike's youngest son. Treme's Wendell Pierce will play Harris Green, Mike's close friend and old boss at WNBC's 5 O'Clock News.
The comedy, which was ordered straight to series, now needs to cast Mike's middle child/daughter, and his sweet executive producer.
Arrested Development and Cougar Town scribe Sam Laybourne is onboard as a writer. Easy A director Will Gluck will executive produce and direct the project, from Gluck's Olive Bridge Entertainment. Olive Bridge's Richard Schwartz will co-exec produce, with Gluck directing the pilot.
Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, NBC entertainment president Bob Greenblatt said he hoped the Fox comedy would land on the network's fall schedule, noting that the first table-read would come this month.
The second half of Breaking Bad's fifth and final season will premiere in the summer. Repped by Talent Works and Patty Woo Management, Brandt's credits also include Parenthood, Private Practice and Boston Legal.