Back on the box with a bang

Robin Wil­liams plays the lead in a new TV com­edy about an ec­cen­tric ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive who runs a busi­ness with his daugh­ter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING - LISA RICHWIN

TWilliams and Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gel­lar play­ing a fa­ther and daugh­ter in a fam­ily busi­ness, takes place in the world of ad­ver­tis­ing.

Re­turn­ing to TV for the first time since Mork & Mindy went off the air in 1982, Wil­liams will play an ec­cen­tric ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive who em­ploys un­ortho­dox meth­ods to win and keep clients.

Gel­lar plays the strait- laced daugh­ter who bat­tles to keep him from go­ing too far.

Wil­liams said his char­ac­ter took chances, and he hoped au­di­ences would be drawn to his suc­cesses and fail­ures as well as the re­la­tion­ship with his daugh­ter.

“You have to es­tab­lish a char­ac­ter that peo­ple buy into,” Wil­liams told re­porters at a Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing in Bev­erly Hills.

“I think peo­ple will buy into not just my char­ac­ter but the re­la­tion­ship with every­body else. He has good ideas and bad ones.”

Pro­ducer David Kel­ley, known for tele­vi­sion hits like The Prac­tice and Ally McBeal, said Wil­liams stuck to the script but also was given the free­dom to add his own take.

“He says my words per­fectly,” Kel­ley said.

“Then he uses his. He man­ages HE STAR of 1970s sit­com Mork & Mindy, Robin Wil­liams, will be on dis­play in his new com­edy The Crazy Ones, which pre­mieres on M-Net, tomorrow at 6pm, though the ac­tor says the se­ries will de­liver a char­ac­ter that au­di­ences can re­late to. The Crazy Ones, which finds

Buffy the Vam­pire in­side the box, then we give him a few takes where he gets to take out of it.”

“Peo­ple for­get that Robin is a Juil­liard- trained, Os­car- win­ning ac­tor,” said ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and pi­lot di­rec­tor Ja­son Winer.

“His num­ber one goal is to make his scene part­ner look good.”

Co-stars Gel­lar and James Wolk echoed Winer, say­ing that Wil­liams was more con­cerned with them par­tic­i­pat­ing in the al­ter­nate takes than him­self.

And the trio’s many un­used mo­ments will be used in weekly out­takes that will air af­ter the episodes – as they do in the pi­lot.

The star also em­pha­sised that off-the-wall com­edy would take a back­seat to cre­at­ing a like­able group of peo­ple.

Af­ter play­ing the wildly comic space alien Mork, Wil­liams built a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in movies, per­form­ing in come­dies, dra­mas, big Hol­ly­wood flicks and low-bud­get art house films. He won an Os­car in 1998 for his role in Good Will Hunt­ing and has been nom­i­nated three other times.

The Crazy Ones will in­clude re­al­life com­pa­nies as clients, such as McDon­ald’s, which is fea­tured in the first episode. The ham­burger chain did not pay for the ap­pear­ance and did not give ap­proval to the script, Winer said.

“McDon­ald’s sort of or­gan­i­cally made its way into the se­ries,” said Winer, who added that the chain was a client of ad­ver­tis­ing exec and Kel­ley’s in­spi­ra­tion, John Mont­gomery.

“Us­ing a brand is ex­cit­ing be­cause it makes the world seem more au­then­tic. So far, no money has ex­changed hands. McDon­ald’s did not pay any­thing for a role in the pi­lot, nor did they have ap­proval for how they were por­trayed.”

Gel­lar, who says she landed the role af­ter “stalk­ing” both Wil­liams and Kelly, said act­ing along­side Wil­liams of­fered her a new chal­lenge.

“It’s like when my three-year-old says some­thing re­ally in­ap­pro­pri­ate, and it’s re­ally funny but I can’t laugh,” she said.

“That’s kind of like work­ing with Robin.” – Reuters, THR

FUNNY ONE: Ac­claimed film ac­tor Robin Wil­liams re­turns to TV screens for the first time since 1982.

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