Shazbot! Robin Williams could be making a return to TV, where he famously got his start 30 years ago as the lovable alien from Ork on Mork & Mindy. The actor is in talks to team up with writer David E. Kelley to develop The Crazy Ones, a comedy about an aging but brilliant advertising exec.
CBS is said to be angling for the show, offering a hefty penalty fee to land the project. 20th Century Fox TV is the studio attached. Kelley will write and executive produce, and Bill D'Elia is on board to executive produce as well.
In The Crazy Ones, Williams' character works with his daughter, and together the two of them begin to question their lives. The Crazy Ones would be shot as a single-camera half-hour. CBS is said to be eager to try its hand once again at single-camera comedies, and has been aggressive in looking for such shows.
CBS star Ashton Kutcher actually revealed last year that Williams has often dreamed of making a return to TV. As a matter of fact, it was something Kutcher once heard about Williams that convinced him to take the job on Two and a Half Men. "When I was on That '70s Show, I remember Robin Williams coming by and visiting [co-star] Kurtwood Smith," Kutcher told TV Guide Magazine last year. "After he left I went to Kurtwood and said, 'Wow, Robin Williams.' I asked him what they talked about and he goes, 'You know, it's weird, he said to me that he wishes he could go back to a sitcom again.' And I was like, really? 'Yeah, he says it was the best job he ever had and he feels like he can't do it again.'"
But that was then. Now, in 2012, it's no longer unusual to see major feature stars take series regular roles on TV. Glenn Close, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver and Jessica Lange are just some of the movie stars who have turned to TV in recent years. Williams has made plenty of TV guest appearances over his career, including most recently on FX's Louie. He's landed Emmy nominations for Mork & Mindy and guest spots on Homicide and Law & Order: SVU.
Williams, who won the Oscar for Good Will Hunting, just wrapped filming the Lee Daniels feature The Butler, in which he plays President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He'll next star in the feature The Angriest Man in Brooklyn opposite Peter Dinklage, Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones.
As for Kelley, who's currently exec producing the new TNT drama Monday Mornings, the project might become his first show at CBS since The Brotherhood of Poland, NH. Kelley, of course, also executive produced Chicago Hope and Picket Fences at the network. Kelley most recently executive produced NBC's Harry's Law, which was led by another feature star, Kathy Bates, and won Emmys for The Practice and Ally McBeal, among others.