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New Fall Season: 'The Crazy Ones' has crazy good cast, crazy tough timeslot

The Crazy Ones (thurs 9/26)
Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBS

For my money, no new sitcom of the season has a more impressive cast than "The Crazy Ones."

TV legends Robin Williams (who is also an Oscar winner, need I remind you) and Sarah Michelle Gellar play a father-daughter duo running a big time ad agency in Chicago. James Wolk ("Lone Star"? Okay, how about, Bob Benson from "Mad Men") is an account executive and Hamish Linklater (brother Matthew from "The New Adventures of Old Christine") is the agency's art director. Toss in Amanda Setton ("Gossip Girls") as an assistant.

Now that is a sitcom cast.

And I could really, really like this if Robin Williams would just dial it back a few notches. On a scale ranging from "Patch Adams" to "Dead Poets Society," Williams' performance is somewhere in the middle. Which is to say, it's all over the place. Some of his manic bits (which are frequent, but thankfully, brief) may have you reaching for the remote, but when he calms down and plays a bit lower-key, he's just the best.

I'm so hoping the future of the sitcom steers him a bit more toward the low-key funny he's so good at. But the series is from David E. Kelley, who isn't exactly known for his subtlety. Kelley never met a wacky character he couldn't wacky into the ground.

Gellar does a great job playing the more grounded counterpart to Williams' manic genius, and even has to get a little crazy herself in the pilot.

The real surprise in the pilot is how funny Wolk is. He absolutely holds his own in scenes with Williams, including one where the two riff on McDonald's song lyrics for guest star Kelly Clarkson, whom the firm is trying to land for a commercial. I'm telling you, out of nowhere sometimes, I start singing, "Drive-thru lovin'. Drive, drive-thru lovin'…" And I hate myself for it. In another scene with Clarkson, Wolk sings -- lead -- on an overly sexy hamburger song, and it's mesmerizing.

"The Crazy Ones" isn't perfect, but I'll happily take it -- at least for as long as it lasts against "The Michael J. Fox Show," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Glee" (yikes!).

What to Watch on Tuesday: Buffy's back in 'Ringer'

90210 (8pm, CW) - In the Season 4 premiere, Naomi adjusts her lower social status at college while also digesting the news of her pregnancy. Also, Adrianna wants to redeem herself and Dixon needs a place to live.

Ringer (9pm, CW) - In the series premiere, ex-stripper Bridget (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a recovering drug addict slated to testify in a murder trial, flees protective custody and reunites with her wealthy twin Siobhan, who soon disappears while on a boating excursion. In a desperate attempt to avoid the feds and mobsters now hunting her, Bridget passes herself off as Siobhan, but soon learns the new role hasn't made her safer. Read Adrienne's opinion.

Parenthood (10pm, NBC) - In the Seaon 3 premiere, Sarah approaches her 40th birthday and turns to Mr. Cyr for support. Meanwhile, Adam worries about providing for his family and considers joining Crosby in a business opportunity.

Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words (10pm, ABC) - In audio interviews conducted by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. not long after President John F. Kennedy was killed in November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy talks about her life in the White House, her marriage and family, and the events faced by the Kennedy administration. Her daughter Caroline Kennedy is also interviewed by Diane Sawyer.

Sons of Anarchy (10pm, FX) - Clay makes a deal with the Mayans that won't be easy to sell to the club, and the Russians aren't exactly in his corner, either.

THE NEW FALL SEASON: "Ringer"

"Ringer" (9 tonight, the CW) brings back Sarah Michelle Gellar as identical twin sisters, one poor and rehabbing and on the run; the other rich and miserable.

When the rich one seemingly commits suicide, poor sister steps into her life -- and her problems. Those problems include a trouble marriage and an especially tricky affair. And then there's the fact that poor sister is wanted alive as a witness by the police and wanted dead because she witnessed that crime.

Though nowhere near the smart, nuanced storytelling of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," the show's fun; there are a lot of delicious twists to build on. Sadly, the CGI budget must be small; I think I could see the green screen when the two Sarahs appeared together.

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