Williams tops Fox in return of sitcom vets
NEW YORK (AP) - Robin Williams has early bragging rights over Michael J. Fox in the competition between two sitcom veterans returning to network TV- with an asterisk.
The Nielsen company said Friday that Williams' new CBS comedy, "The Crazy Ones," debuted before 15.6 million people on Thursday night. It competed directly at 9 p.m. Eastern with "The Michael J. Fox" on NBC, which was seen 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 less than 3 million viewers.
CBS succeeded in getting people to sample Williams' new show by scheduling the extra "Big Bang" episode. Moving forward, however, "The Crazy Ones" will be preceded by another new show, "The Millers," on the schedule.
"I really think you have to sit and wait to see what happens," said Brad Adgate, researcher for Horizon Media.
NBC ran two separate episodes of "The Michael J. Fox Show," where the star plays a newscaster coming back to work with Parkinson's disease, which Fox also suffers from. The second, at 9:30 p.m., had a larger audience of 7.4 million people, Nielsen said.
NBC notes that the audience during that hour was double what the network was reaching on average at 9 p.m. Eastern last year with "The Office" and "Parks & Recreation."
Adgate said there was an expectation that the well-known Fox would attract a bigger audience for his return than he actually did.
"Granted, it's a weak lead-in," he said, "but they put him on the show to create appointment viewing and that didn't happen."
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."
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Sun Devils ranked 18th in preseason coaches poll
- ASU's Todd Graham: 'This is the best offensive team I've been around'
- ESPN ranks ASU's Taylor Kelly and Jaelen Strong among top 100 players in college football
- ASU coach Todd Graham excited for Taylor Kelly and offense's potential in 2014
- Arizona State coach Todd Graham confident defense will be fine
- Tracy Smith, ASU Baseball Head Coach - Thursday July 31ASU baseball’s new head coach Tracy Smith talks about taking over the program.
- Todd Graham, ASU Football Head Coach - Thursday July 31Head coach Todd Graham talks about the upcoming season of ASU football.
- Dr. Michael Crow, ASU president - Wednesday July 23ASU president Dr. Michael Crow is this week’s guest on the Fork Report.
- Adam Archuleta, former ASU & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 16Former ASU & NFL DB Adam Archuleta is the guest on this week’s ASU Fork Report.
- Darren Woodson, former Sun Devil & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 9Former Sun Devil DB Darren Woodson shares his thoughts on ASU football.