Bill Cosby once dominated the television landscape. He may be ready to try again.
CinemaBlend.com has confirmed that television veteran Mike O’Malley have been working with NBC and Sony TV to develop a new comedy helmed by Cosby. O’Malleys’ involvement was announced at the recent TCA press event.
It was confirmed in January that Cosby and The Cosby Show‘s executive producer Tom Werner had teamed up to try to create a new multigenerational sitcom that would once again reign supreme over the television landscape. The show, still untitled, would focus on “a family sitcom geared towards Bill Cosby’s thoughts on families and sitcoms.” Many people pitched ideas, but it was O’Malley, who plays Kurt Hummel’s dad on Glee, who garnered the attention of Cosby and Werner.
As Deadline reports, the pilot’s central focus is mostly the same. Cosby stars as Jonathan Franklin, the wise and wizened top living branch of a large family tree. He “shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated lives.” O’Malley is set to play one of the son-in-laws in the extended cast if scheduling allow for it.
O’Malley and Mike Sikowitz are set as executive producers, with Sikowitz supervising O’Malleys’ efforts. Sikowitz is helming two other new series, a CBS/Sony TV effort called The McCarthys, and a Starz network effort called Survivors Remorse.
The question now being presented is, can a new Cosby show, and Cosby himself, still resonate as well as The Cosby Show did until its ending in 1992? The television landscape has changed drastically in those 22 years. So has the perception of Cosby himself.
Since The Cosby Show, he stopped pushing Jello Pudding Pops, had one CBS series (Cosby) from 1996 to 2000, and continued to do stand-up comedy. At 77, his presentation may be a bit slower, but he has never lost the ability to tell a story that can captivate so many. Others have tried to copy him, but have never even come close.
Cosby himself has come under fire. In 2004, he faced a lawsuit from 13 women claiming he drugged and sexually assaulted them. The lawsuit was settled in 2006. But, partially due to the fact that he kept such a low public profile, the lawsuit did little to damage his reputation.
The show has a script commitment, and even if the show never sees the light of day, Cosby is guaranteed a big payday. If all goes to plan, the show will air in the summer or fall of 2015.