Michael Ausiello
July 07, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Casting for Rescue Me’s upcoming fifth season is heating up! (Get it? Heating up? Show about firefighters? Ah, forget it.)

Anyway, sources confirm to me exclusively that Michael J. Fox is

nearing a deal to join the cast of Rescue Me for a multi-episode arc.

He’ll play a love interest for Denis Leary’s on-screen ex, Janet

(Andrea Roth). An FX spokesperson confirms that Fox is circling the role, but insists “no deal is done yet.”

This marks Fox’s first major TV gig since a 2006 guest stint on Boston

Legal, where he played a CEO battling stage-four lung cancer.

Leary and Fox are longtime friends, so I’m going to assume negotiations

will proceed without a hitch and his hiring will become official any

minute now.

Fired up about Fox’s casting? (Get it?) Or is your excitement tempered by the

fact that new episodes (real episodes, not those webisodes) won’t

start airing for, like another nine years! OK, it’s next March, but still — it’s a long damn time.

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