Thankfully, it’s not often I wake up to news so unexpected it leaves me stunned. My heart can’t take it. But it happened today when I learned that Robin Williams died at age 63 by apparent suicide.
When I turned on the TV, Matt Lauer was already into full sensational video obit mode on the Today Show, so I switched to CBS This Morning.
CBS happens to be the last network Robin Williams worked for. Just last season, he starred in The Crazy Ones, his first foray into TV sitcom since Mork and Mindy.
I watched every episode of The Crazy Ones because it starred — ROBIN WILLIAMS!
OK, it wasn’t the funniest, but Robin had good chemistry with his on-screen daughter, Sarah Michelle Gellar. From the outtakes closing every episode, it seemed they were leaving most of Williams’s improv skills on the cutting room floor.
My sense was that the rest of the much-younger cast kept pinching themselves over the chance to work with ROBIN WILLIAMS, and I believed the show would gel in its second season, after maybe some tweaks.
But CBS didn’t give Robin a chance to fix it. They pulled the plug on ROBIN WILLIAMS after one season, in a mind-blowing lack of faith that he would ever deliver.
After that, we read reports that Williams was depressed and checked himself into rehab. And now he’s dead.
And today Charlie Rose and Nora O’Donnell had the GALL to sit there, running clip after clip of Williams’ career — but not ONE from The Crazy Ones.
At one point late in the show, Nora mentioned The Crazy Ones, but Charlie quickly steered her away before she said too much.
Nora also said Williams was one of her favorite interviewees, and they showed a recent blip of him at the table — obviously there to plug The Crazy Ones — but they never mentioned that part.
NOBODY said a peep about the CBS cancellation, even though the sitcom’s “failure” undoubtedly weighed on Williams’ already-shaky confidence and self-esteem.
Way to go, CBS, you fucking cowards. Wail and moan over the loss of a great talent — whom you kicked to the curb like so much garbage just a few months ago. Go claim your spot in the journalistic sewer with the Today Show.
PS: Buried below a bunch of other stuff, I found that CBS did slip that last Williams CBS interview about The Crazy Ones on their website. Too little, too late.