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'The Crazy Ones'

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar talk about returning to TV, playing a father-daughter team, and their mutual love of Pam Dawber

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Sarah, did you have any preconceived notions about Robin?
Sarah Michelle Gellar His best friend’s wife has been one of my closest friends for years now, so when I read the script, I called her and her husband and said, ”I know this is inappropriate, and normally I would never do this, but if you speak to Robin, tell him I am one of his biggest fans and I would be honored to even read for him.”

Robin, had you ever seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Robin Williams Not at all. To be honest, I’ve never seen one episode. [To Gellar] Send me one.
SMG You’d like the prom episode.
RW Is that the one where you sang?
SMG That’s an obvious one. The prom one you’d like. It’s very emotional.

Robin, you worked in front of a live audience with Mork & Mindy, but The Crazy Ones is a single-camera comedy. Has it been freeing or frightening?
RW Very freeing. With Mork & Mindy, we had crazy audiences, especially when Jonathan Winters was on. The idea of having a live audience puts on a little more pressure. With this, you can find different types of comedy — kick-ass, but at the same time something slightly more subtle, more laid-back.
SMG [To Williams] You know, I pitched Pam Dawber [Mindy] to play my mom on the show.
RW If she came back, that would be like, thank you. I would cry.

What did the producers say?
RW She wants too much!
SMG They said I was not the first person who brought it up.

Will you be tweeting during the show?
RW I just started. The biggest following I’ve had for one of my tweets was when I talked about Mrs. Doubtfire rocking an outfit more than Kim Kardashian.

Which one?
SMG The flower dress from the Met Ball. [To Williams] By the way, you did rock it more than Kim Kardashian.
RW I did. I wore more flowers.

McDonald’s is featured prominently in the premiere. Will we see the agency’s clients in future episodes?
RW They’re not sure. It’s all about how far you can push while making fun of the product and still talk about the product.
SMG It’s important to note that McDonald’s didn’t give us any money.

Is it true that even before you had a full-season pickup, you shot promos?
RW It was kinda gutsy. A lot of them were based on Sarah and me returning to TV for the first time in a while.
SMG Actually, that’s not true. It was based on you being back.
RW Okay, it was me pimping being back on TV. We have a lot to live up to!

The Crazy Ones
New Comedy, 9 p.m., CBS
In his first series- regular role since 1982, Robin Williams headlines this David E. Kelley show about a successful ad exec who owns a Chicago firm with his daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar). The conflict: Dad worries about becoming irrelevant, while daughter fears her pop may be going off the rails. The Crazy Ones, which also stars James Wolk and Hamish Linklater, is going for little chuckles — not belly laughs. ”The show should be funny, but the idea is to not shake people,” explains Kelley. ”It’s not a broad comedy.” Sept. 26