Two sitcom veterans returned to network TV last week and one fared much better in his return than his counterpart. According to Nielsen company, Robin Williams’ new CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones” debuted to 15.6 million viewers on Thursday night. It competed directly with Michael J. Fox’s “The Michael J. Fox Show” on NBC which was only seen by 7.2 million people.
According to Entertainment Weekly, William’s had a heavy advantage as his show premiered after TV’s most popular comedy “The Big Bang Theory”, which was seen by 19.5 million people in the second episode of a two-part season premiere. By contrast, Fox’s show aired after the second half hour of “Parks & Recreation” on NBC which was only viewed by 3 million people.
CBS used “The Big Bang Theory” to attract people to Williams’ new show by airing “The Big Bang Theory” prior to its debut. Going forward another new show “The Millers” will air prior Williams’ show. Industry executives expected Fox, because of his name recognition, would draw a much larger viewing than it did. They also did not expect Williams’ show to double Fox’s. Both shows attracted an older audience averaging about 54-55 year old viewers.