Denis Leary knew he was handing Michael J. Fox another Emmy nomination when he asked his pal to shoot five episodes of Rescue Me this season. When I was down in New York on the set of Rescue Me in April, Leary joked that Fox would walk off with another statue. "F-in' guy, already has $800 million from Spin City, like he needs another F-in' Emmy," Leary groused in a good natured way.
Fox signed up for a five-episode arc on the series, currently in its fifth season on FX and Showcase. At the start of the season, Fox plays a crabby paraplegic who is the new boyfriend of Tommy Gavin's (Leary) ex-wife Janet (Andrea Roth). It is a darkly funny, juicy role, with Fox playing against type as a scumbag who isn't above grabbing Gavin by the nuts to get back at him for sneaking it a little old times sake with the former Missus.
Leary said it was his producing partner Peter Tolan's idea to pitch the role to Fox. Leary sent his friend five pages of the script and was thrilled when he called up and said he was in. "He doesn’t have to do anything," said Leary, who knows Fox's top priority is his family. "He’s very involved in his (Parkinson's) foundation, he’s an incredibly wealthy man because of Spin City and his giant movie career and his best selling book." Still, Leary knew Fox might return to TV if it was an interesting role and especially something he'd never done before.
The role won Fox his 11th Emmy nomination (he's already won four times, three for Family Ties and one for Spin City). For a full list of the 2009 Emmy nominees, check here.