The Word: Robin Williams is back on TV because he’s broke

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle-Gellar are together at last on "The Crazy Ones." Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS
Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are together at last in “The Crazy Ones.” Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS

It’s a sign of the times that so many movie stars quietly return to television after a few years or decades. Most will claim it’s because TV is so creatively vibrant now, or whatever.

Not Robin Williams: He’ll happily admit that he signed on to his new TV series “The Crazy Ones,” with Sarah Michelle Gellar, for the dough.

“The idea of having a steady job is appealing,” Williams told Parade Magazine. “I have two [other] choices: go on the road doing stand-up, or do small, independent movies working almost for scale [minimum union pay]. The movies are good, but a lot of times they don’t even have distribution. There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way. I’m selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can’t afford it anymore.”

Impressively candid. Most movie stars, even if their star has clearly dimmed, don’t like to admit they’re not high rollers anymore. And Williams has two ex-wives, which he admits takes a big bite out of his income. “Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.”

Man, reading about other people’s financial problems puts me on edge. I find myself in the odd position of really hoping a new CBS sitcom succeeds, just so Robin Williams will be OK.



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