TCA: McDonalds Did Not Pay To Be The Star Of CBS’ ‘The Crazy Ones’ Pilot

“McDonalds did not pay, and did not have approval” on The Crazy Ones pilot episode, exec producer Jason Winer told TV critics today at TCA. In the first episode of the new CBS comedy from David E. Kelly and Winer, a Chicago ad agency head and his daughter, played by Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, try to get Kelly Clarkson to sing the old McDonalds jingle in an effort to hang on to that important client. Using a real brand is exciting…making up the names of products would not seem so real” Winer explained.  “So far no money has changed hands”.

“If you look under your chairs there’s a Happy Meal there right now,” Williams jumped in.

It’s the Practically Perfect TV series – each episode about making an ad campaign for a different product. A few hours earlier, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said some episodes would focus on fake products; he too said no money came in from McDonalds on the first episode. According to an insider, the show will get no money for real products woven into the first season, though there is hope of monetizing it going forward from there, in much the same way AMC’s Mad Men monetizes those verisimilitudinous touches for which TV critics show it mad love. The Crazy Ones is about making fun of the process — not the product. During the show’s Q&A session, Kelley said the show is based on the Chicago agency headed by John Montgomery, who sits with the writers about three days a week, and regales them with stories from his career: focus groups that felt it was inappropriate for the Keebler elves to still be living in trees (they should have their own condos by now) — he’s got a million of ‘em.

Comments (6)

  • Will this be another Winer Bomb like 1600 Penn? Sure, he moves the camera well enough but the guy isn’t funny enough to be central to a comedy. Modern Family’s success is down to Lloyd and Levitan and Penn was a massively turgid turkey.

    Comment by Winer Bomb — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 3:04pm PDT  
    • It’s David E. Kelley. That alone guarantees it’ll be terrific.

      Comment by cadavra — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 6:51pm PDT  
    • You seem pretty confident about the success breakdown of Modern Family or you have a weird ax to grind. Either way, have fun with your creepy anger!

      Comment by Joey Joe Joe — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 10:29pm PDT  
  • MAD MEN uses many real still-existing products without any money or tie-ins, the joy of fair use! Lucky Strikes/American Tobacco and Hilton being the two biggest names on the show NOT having any connection. (and considering “Lee Gardner Jr”, that is no surprise)

    Comment by Herb Finn — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 3:33pm PDT  
  • I believe it will be very successful

    Comment by Wanda — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 4:02pm PDT  
  • David E. Kelly (check) – worth a look
    Robin Williams (check) – hell yes, happy he’s returning to television.

    Comment by ddesjardins — Monday July 29, 2013 @ 10:16pm PDT  

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