The Crazy Ones

Thursdays, 9 p.m., CBS

How to wrap a sitcom around Robin Williams? That’s a question television producers have been asking for 31 years, ever since Mork & Mindy ended. Efforts to create a similarly good fit for him have failed—until now. In The Crazy Ones, created and produced by David E. Kelley, Williams plays Simon Roberts, a wacky genius given to rapid-fire joking and banter who heads up a major Chicago advertising company. He’s the kind of guy who, as Williams has said, “could sell clouds to God.” He’s paired with Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays his daughter and business partner, Sydney. She’s the one person who can rope him in when he becomes unmoored, and Gellar, much to her credit, keeps right up with Williams—no easy task. There’s also a good cast of supporting players, including James Wolk, Amanda Setton and Hamish Linklater, all of whom treat Simon with the respect and fearful disbelief that come from working for a mad genius. Plot is secondary here to raillery and repartee, at which Williams excels. I’ve watched three episodes since the show debuted on Sept. 26, and all had me laughing out loud, over and over.