May 15, 2013

THE SKED 2013 UPFRONTS: CBS Featurette – “The Crazy Ones”


CBS–because it’s CBS–doesn’t release trailers for its new series, but instead provides 3-4 minute behind-the-scenes featurettes.  These are about as informative as the puff pieces you’d find as an “extra” on a Hollywood DVD, and they’re even less reliable as a predictor of series quality than a real trailer would be.  So take them for what they’re worth, and no more.

THE CRAZY ONES is a huge show for CBS next fall, anchoring the network’s new 4-sitcom Thursday night line-up.  Robin Williams is the linchpin, playing a brilliant but erratic advertising man (yes, it’s Mad Men as a sitcom–and oddly enough, current Mad Men recurring guest star James Wolk is one of the cast members) who works with daughter Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Here’s the featurette.

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They might as well have called this The Robin Williams Show, because clearly that’s what it’s going to be.  It’s all well and good to have Sarah Michelle Gellar and Hamish Linklater in the cast, and David E. Kelley calling the shots, and it’s certainly a deluxe production, what with Kelly Clarkson acting and singing in the pilot–but the show will hit or miss depending on how much viewers still love Williams.  He’s an iconic name in comedy–but it’s been a long, long time since he was the star of a hit.  Of course, that’s what brings stars back to television (and, one might say, particularly to CBS).  Between Williams and Sean Hayes in the Thursday 9PM timeslot, there’s going to be so much over-the-top mugging in front of the cameras that Grey’s Anatomy will feel like a PBS documentary.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."