Bernie Mac's Back at FOX

Assuming that the industry ever gets back to business-as-usual, Bernie Mac is set to return to FOX.

According to the industry trades, FOX has given a series commitment (possibly for seven episodes upfront) to "Starting Under," a multi-camera sitcom featuring Mac.

If you're curious how anybody could be positioning development deals in the midst of the WGA strike, the trade papers offer reassurance that Mac and creator Bruce Helford ("The Drew Carey Show") haven't been crossing the picket line. No, FOX signed on for the series late last Friday (Nov. 2), several days before the strike began.

"Starting Under," from Warner Bros. TV, will star Mac as an outspoken divorced man who ends up living with his introverted twentysomething son. Multi-camera veteran Andy Ackerman, a three-time Emmy winner, will direct the pilot.

The "Ocean's Eleven" and "Mr. 3000" star's eponymous FOX sitcom ran for five seasons and more than 100 episodes beginning in 2001. Mac was never shy in expressing his discomfort with the way the network handled the show, bouncing it around the schedule and airing it in irregular intervals. Despite that treatment, Mac earned a pair of Emmy nominations for his lead performance.

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