Robin Williams has early bragging rights over Michael J Fox in the competition between the two sitcom veterans returning to network TV.
The Nielsen company said that Williams’ new CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones, debuted before 15.6 million people in the US on Thursday night. It competed directly with The Michael J. Fox Show on NBC, which was watched by 7.2 million people.
Williams, who plays an advertising executive working in a firm with his daughter, had a huge advantage: his new sitcom directly followed a new episode of television’s most popular comedy, The Big Bang Theory, which was seen by 19.5 million people in the second of a two-part season premiere.
By contrast, the second half hour of Parks & Recreation on NBC, which preceded Fox’s new show, had fewer than three million viewers. CBS succeeded in getting people to sample Williams’ new show by scheduling the extra Big Bang episode. In the future, however, The Crazy Ones will be preceded by another new show, The Millers, on the schedule.
NBC ran two separate episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show, where the star plays a newscaster with Parkinson’s disease coming back to work. Fox has Parkinson’s in real life. The second, at 9.30pm, had a larger audience of 7.4 million people, Nielsen said.
Both shows apparently attracted a lot of the stars’ old fans. Adgate said the median age of The Crazy Ones audience was 55, while it was 54 for The Michael J. Fox Show. The Crazy Ones will be broadcast on OSN First Comedy HD on Tuesday at 8pm.