published Friday, September 27th, 2013

Robin Williams tops Michael J. Fox in return of sitcom vets

n this July 29, 2013 file photo, actor Robin Williams participates in the "The Crazy Ones" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Nielsen company said Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 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.  (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)
n this July 29, 2013 file photo, actor Robin Williams participates in the "The Crazy Ones" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Nielsen company said Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 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. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Robin Williams has 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 had a huge advantage, however. 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. By contrast, the second half hour of “Parks & Recreation” on NBC, which preceded Fox’s new show, had less than 3 million viewers.

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