, who takes over for Michael J. Fox
as deputy mayor of Spin City
this fall, insists that a family feud is not brewing between him and his famous pa, Martin
, now that the two will be going head-to-head in prime time. (Spin
airs against the second half of NBC's The West Wing
, in which Martin plays the president.) In fact, Charlie reveals that he'll be watching his famous father.
"I'll have have taped [Spin City] and I'll know what it's about," he said at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. As it is, Charlie points out that comparing Spin City with The West Wing is like comparing apples with oranges. "It's the difference between Apocalypse Now or Major League (in which Martin and Charlie starred in, respectively)."
Executive producer Gary David Goldberg admitted that when Fox announced his decision to leave the show last season to focus on his battle against Parkinson's disease, "everyone's first instinct was to end the show. We would not have gone forward without Mike's blessing." He added that "someone like Charlie gives us a reason to go on."
Still, Fox's presence will continue to be felt on the series, now entering its fifth season. In addition to his continuing role as executive producer, the actor may also make a guest appearance somewhere down the line. "I talk to Mike almost every day," Goldberg said. "He's totally on board."
Other Spin tidbits: The show will introduce an African-American female character as an assistant; the series will feature less physical comedy now that it has moved production from New York to Los Angeles; and Barry Bostwick's Mayor Winston character will have a difficult time coping with the new deputy mayor.
Also, don't be surprised if the writers take a jab or two at Charlie's infamous bad-boy days. "To ignore the reality of the lifestyle I led for a long time would be a disservice to the show," Sheen said, adding that he has received nothing but support from his beloved predecessor. "He said that he felt that he was leaving his baby behind with a trusted guardian. He's been great."