Legendary actor Michael J. Fox is returning to television for a new extended guest role. The Back to the Future star will appear in an upcoming five-episode arc on ABC’s drama series, Designated Survivor, starring another 1980’s fixture, actor Kiefer Sutherland.
Fox will play a powerful Washington attorney named Ethan West, hired by the White House to become a special prosecutor looking into former President Moss’ illegal activities.
Sutherland plays the current president, Tom Kirkman, on Designated Survivor, who unexpectedly became president when the entire line of succession was killed in a bombing on Capitol Hill.
Kirkman was previously the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but as is the case in real life, was chosen not to attend the State of the Union address as the “designated survivor” in the event of just such an attack.
The guest spot by Fox will reunite him with Sutherland after the two first appeared together in the 1988 drama Bright Lights, Big City.
Fox has made only sporadic appearances in film and television since semi-retiring from the business in 2000 after he revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Nonetheless, he’s earned three Emmy nominations for his guest work on the CBS drama, The Good Wife, which ended in 2016.
He’s also had memorable appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scrubs, Rescue Me, Boston Legal, and Nightcap (often playing himself).
In 2013, Fox had his biggest role in years when NBC debuted The Michael J. Fox show, a new sitcom in which the actor played a news anchor with Parkinson’s disease.
Unfortunately, the show was not a success in the ratings and was canceled after 15 episodes, leaving an additional seven episodes never to be aired.
Designated Survivor is currently in the midst of its second season and has been on winter hiatus since December 13. The series will return with new episodes beginning on Wednesday, February 28, at 10/9c on ABC.