Pilot

Season 1
Episode 101
Air Date 09/26/13
TV-14

Mike Henry used to be one of New York's favorite news anchors; everybody loved him. But when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's, he stepped away from his high profile job in order to focus on his family and health. That was five years ago. Now the Parkinson's shock is no longer fresh and the disease has just sort of become another aspect of the Henry family's life. It's not normal, but it's normal for them. And to be completely honest, Mike's stay-at-home dad gig is driving everyone crazy!

All Mike wants these days is for his family to eat together sitting down at a table and to possibly go apple picking this weekend. Is that too much to ask? If you're asking his family, then yes, yes it is. Mike's college dropout son, Ian, is ready to be his own self-made man, but it's tough to create the next great search engine when you're based out of your little brother's racecar-themed room. Mike's daughter, Eve, is struggling through high school and honestly isn't above using her dad's illness for personal gain. With a project due soon on the Grapes of Wrath, she is filming a small documentary on her iPhone paralleling her family's life with the struggles of the book's Dust Bowl-suffering protagonists.

Mike is kind enough to pay rent for his sister Leigh's apartment, located in the basement of his building. She's a thirtysomething woman struggling to come to terms with the fact that she has no immediate prospects for parenthood since she's single and quite frankly, lonely. It doesn't help on the sympathy home front when you're brother is universally loved... and battling Parkinson's.

Mike's schoolteacher wife, Annie, loves him, of course, but she also knows he needs to be doing something constantly in order to feel completely satisfied. The only problem is, he can be a little headstrong at times. Mike doesn't like people taking pity on him or telling him what to do. So Annie calls up Mike's old boss, Harris, and the two devise a plan to get Mike back on the air... thinking it was his idea all along. At first, Mike resists the hints, determined to focus on his "job" as a dad. But when Mike screws up the most tedious of tasks at home, accidentally calling the cops when the repairmen come to fix the dishwasher, it becomes pretty obvious that it's time for a change in routine.

At dinner later that night, Mike makes the big announcement: he's ready to go back to work. Before he can even finish enunciating the word "work," everyone in the family lets out a sigh of relief. They're just happy he's getting out of the house. But after visiting the set and getting serious over-sympathetic vibes, Mike tells Annie he's worried NBC is just trying to exploit him for ratings, and he doesn't want the commiserating attention. Annie knows he's also worried about the live TV aspect and whether he "still has it" as a broadcaster. Mike wants things to be the same, but Annie knows, for better or worse, things will never be the same. As Mike always says though, if a lady can have a baby in a tree, any obstacle can be overcome.

Up on the roof, Eve and Ian have a heart-to-heart about their current struggles. Eve's teacher plans to fail her for her pathetic exploitation of her father, and Ian doesn't really want to start the next big search engine - he just failed out of Cornell and is too afraid to tell his parents. Eve decides to redo her video with a more honest approach. She talks about how she loves her dad, how proud she is of his career and how she just hates what Parkinson's has done to him. She realizes people always change, but what Eve loves so much about her dad is that through it all, he's never stopped trying.

Mike calls his emotionally unstable assistant Kay, tells her he's ready to come back to work, and he's already got his first story. During his 911 fiasco earlier, Mike found out about a new two-billion-dollar emergency services initiative that is greatly slowing down the response times of emergency vehicles. Harris likes the segment so much he tells Mike they're showing it to a national audience on the Today Show the next morning. However, as Mike excitedly introduces the segment the next morning, Matt Lauer cuts him off to go to a breaking news story.

Harris and Annie attempt to comfort him as he walks off defeated. Mike is okay, though - he knows you can't control everything. On the way back home, Mike lets Annie know he found out about her little scheme to get him back to work... and thanks her. Inside, the kids and Leigh have planned a surprise: dinner is on the table, and everyone is seated. Hey, you can't control everything... and sometimes, that's a good thing!

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