Robin Williams reportedly suffered great devastation over the cancellation of his latest TV show, The Crazy Ones. Sources close to the late actor say that the show’s failure to succeed proved to be too much for him and caused him to sink into an even greater depression, for which he checked himself into a rehabilitation center in the month previous to his death.
Williams was said to be extremely nervous in the months leading up to the show’s premiere, believing it was one of his last chances to succeed in the entertainment business. He believed the pressure lay entirely on him in regards to the reception the series would get. The sources say Williams was increasingly worrisome that his time had passed, and that his age had led to offered roles being far and few between. The Jumanjii star reportedly compared his situation to that of legendary actor Robert De Niro, stating his view that if De Niro was having troubles getting roles there was little hope for him. Upon the shows cancellation after just one season, Williams was said to view the axed series as a personal failure with himself as the cause.
The Crazy Ones was a CBS sitcom that featured I Know What You Did Last Summer actress Sarah Michelle Gellar as Williams’ co-star. It was created by David E. Kelley, mastermind behind such hit shows as Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, The Practice, and Picket Fences. The show’s premise was based around a Chicago advertising agency, at which Williams’ character Simon Roberts is employed as an executive. His daughter, played by Gellar, is also employed there. The show’s comedic value lay with the polarizing dynamic between the father and daughter, as Gellar’s character spends much of her time saving the company from failing after her father continues to take risk after risk without thinking it through. Williams’ role in the show was reportedly written with him in mind, and Gellar used an industry connection to lobby for the role upon learning that the actor was making a comedic television show. The series was actor’s first appearance as a series regular since the critically acclaimed 1978 Happy Days spin-off Mork & Mindy, and Gellar’s most recent foray into television after the cancelling of her 2012 venture Ringer, which also shut down production after only one season.
Upon its debut, The Crazy Ones received mixed reviews. Initially, the show earned the title for highest viewed premiere of Fall 2013. However, the shows ratings began to decline as the series progressed. Many critics scrutinized Williams for what they felt was reverting to decade old acting techniques in order to get laughs, a mission they did not feel was accomplished. One reviewer wrote of his confusion regarding how the series could be so boring with such an all-star cast, blaming the plot and lack of character development for what little interest the show invoked. After production of season one wrapped up, CBS announced the decision to not renew the series. Despite its early cancellation, however, the show was awarded a 2014 People’s Choice Award as Gellar was chosen Favorite Actress in a New TV Series.
Gellar released her own statement following the actor’s passing, referring to him as the father she always dreamed of having. She said her is life a better place after having been able to spend time with him. She says he was not only a father figure in real life and on television, but also a kind of uncle to her own children. She went to express her sorrow upon the loss of the actor, but states she will think of Williams every day and hopes he is in a better place now. The actress took to Twitter to share a heartwarming photo collage of the two together, illustrating their close relationship both on and off-screen.
by Rebecca Grace