B’casters clear schedules for Robin Williams shows

Crazy-OnesInternational broadcasters have reorganised their schedules to make room for Robin Williams tributes and re-runs of classic Williams movies and series in the wake of the comic actor’s tragic suicide this week.

US kids network The Hub, a joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro, will pay tribute to Williams with the episode of comedy series Happy Days in which his Mork character was introduced.

Williams’ alien character went on to become hugely popular in the subsequent Mork and Mindy series, which ran for four seasons on ABC between 1978 and 1982. The Hub will run the ‘My Favourite Orkan’ episode twice this Friday with an on-air tribute.

In Australia a glut of programming featuring the much-loved comic has already started airing. Disney Channel has put out animated movie Aladdin, in which Williams voiced the genie. Free-to-air broadcaster Ten has shown comedy movie Mrs Doubtfire. Other Williams movies including Flubber and Bicentennial Man will run on Australian nets through the week.

UK broadcasters have also reorganised schedules to make room for Williams films. Pay TV channel Sky1 showed Jumanji and Awakenings last night, while Sky Movies will show other Williams features including Dead Poet’s Society and Hook.

BBC One is showing Good Will Hunting, the movie for which Williams won an Oscar, this Thursday. BBC Two will show Insomnia this Saturday.

Elsewhere, news networks the world over reported on Williams’ death in detail, although some misjudged their reporting of events.

Channel 4 in the UK paid tribute to the comedian in its nightly news bulletin, but was forced to apologise after airing an excerpt from Good Morning Vietnam in which Williams’ character said, “Get a rope and hang me”. A preliminary coroner’s report ruled Williams had apparently hung himself after slitting his wrists. He was found dead earlier this week.

The Channel 4 clip was cut from the timeshifted version of the news programme.

In the US Fox News anchor Shepard Smith was also forced to apologise after making statements that insinuated Williams’ suicide was a cowardly act.

Williams’ most recent TV work was in David E. Kelley sitcom The Crazy Ones (pictured), which ran for a season on CBS, ending earlier this year.