A television comedy about Alzheimer's disease may sound like a poor excuse for a joke, but the ABC network is apparently attempting to marry these two incongruous ideas together. According to deadline.com, ABC recently purchased a show entitled, "The Alzheimer's Project" (not to be confused with the 2009 HBO documentary of the same name).
At this early stage, little is known about the specifics of the show—what issues it will try to tackle, how it will handle the aspects of the disease that are not at all funny—but it will center around a father with Alzheimer's disease and his attempts to re-forge his relationship with his family.
Sam Sklaver, a former staff writer for HBO's detective dramedy, "Bored to Death," is slated to be the writer for the new show.
Addressing previously off-limits health conditions appears to be an emerging trend for popular television networks.
NBC recently began airing "The Michael J Fox Show," a sitcom featuring the show's namesake as the lead character--a newscaster battling Parkinson's while balancing his career and family life. Fox himself has lived with Parkinson's for over two decades. His presence on the show, which has garnered mixed reviews, lends an element of reality to the fiction.
But Alzheimer's may prove to be an entirely different beast.
As any Alzheimer's caregiver can attest, looking after a loved one with the disease takes family members through a unique spectrum of emotions. It's difficult to imagine that a half-or even a full-hour show could to capture this journey in the way it deserves. Still, if done correctly, such a production could lend some much-needed awareness about what life is really like for those living with Alzheimer's, and their families.
We want to know: What do you think about a comedy about Alzheimer's disease? Can it be done? Should it be done?
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