Michael J. Fox 'wants Heather Locklear to appear in his TV sitcom' in effort to boost falling ratings

Saving the show? Michael J.Fox apparently wants Heather Locklear to appear on his ailing sitcom

Michael J. Fox wants Heather Locklear to join his ailing TV sitcom in a bid to boost ratings.

The 52-year-old star is reported to be 'begging' his former Spin City co-star to appear on The Michael J. Fox Show.

'Michael has reached out to Heather about coming on The Michael J. Fox Show,' a production insider told Radar.  'He’s totally driven to make the show a success and is willing to monkey with the format to do it.

'He thinks a well-received guest-starring visit by Heather might lead to a more regular role.'

The diminutive star's new TV sitcom has been beaten in the ratings by Robin Williams's show The Crazy Ones which airs on CBS.

NBC famously ordered 22 episodes of the series without seeing a pilot - an unusual move in U.S. television.

Its third week saw ratings plummet 29 per cent to 3.8 million viewers, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Heather, 52, previously starred alongside Michael back in 1999 when she joined Spin City after the Family Ties star announced he was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

According to Radar, her appearance lifted the ratings of the sitcom and she is also credited with boosting viewing figures for Melrose Place and Dynasty.

The Michael J. Fox Show sees the Canadian-born star play news anchor Mike Henry who gives up his job to focus on his health and family after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

But five years later, he decides to return to work, with the show exploring the struggles between his family and career.

Keen to take a humorous look at his condition, Michael takes inspiration from his real home life with wife Tracy Pollan and their four children Sam, 24, 18-year-old twins Aquinnah and Schuyler and Esme, 12.

Favoured co-star: Heather Locklear helped raise the ratings when she appeared alongside Michael J.Fox in TV sitcom Spin City

'The way I look at life, and the way I look at the reality of Parkinson’s, is that sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes it’s funny,' he told Collider. 'I need to look at it that way, and I think other people will look at it that way. 

'But beyond that, I think we all get our own bag of hammers. We all get our own Parkinson’s. We all have our own thing. I think that we’ll look at it through the filter of that experience, and we’ll say, “Yeah, I need to laugh at my stuff, too."'

In the lead up to his new show's premiere, Michael opened up about his struggles to accept his diagnosis with the degenerative disease.

The 52-year-old told Howard Stern: 'My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily. It just felt helpless. It felt unfair in a way - it's hard to explain.'

Art imitating life: Michael's The Michael J.. Fox Show, in which he plays a man returning to work after finding out he has Parkinson's disease, only got half the viewer's Robin Williams did

Playing on art: Michael J. Fox plays news anchor Mike Henry on the show

Michael - who became a household name after starring in Family Ties then Back to The Future - retired from his hit show Spin City in 2002, revealing his own diagnosis for the first time to the public, after the cast and crew helped keep it private for a number of years.

But he has clearly enjoyed returning to regular work after acclaimed guest spots on TV shows The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

'I do pace myself a little differently, but I find that the muscle gets strong again,' he told Collider. 'First of all, the scripts have been fantastic.  We get these scripts, and they’re such a joy to work with.  They’ve really captured this unique perspective of this family. 

'We just fell into the rhythm and all enjoy working with each other so much.  It’s different than Family Ties.  I’ve developed a different way of working because I’m working with different people and we’re doing a different thing.  It’s really unique and exciting, and I love working with these people.'

Clash of the titans: Both Robin Williams and Micheal J. Fox's first television shows in years air on U.S. networks on Thursday nights, with Williams emerging the victor in the ratings

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