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Bill Cosby is coming back to your TV... and not just in reruns.
Cosby has signed a deal with NBC to star in a new sitcom as the dad of a multigenerational family, Deadline first reported. (NBC has since confirmed the news to Variety.) The untitled series, produced by "Cosby Show" veteran Tom Werner, will be based on Cosby's unique perspective on marriage and parenting.
Of course, the Peacock Network is hoping this new series follows the mold of "The Cosby Show," Cosby's classic 1984-92 sitcom which dominated the ratings and made NBC a primetime powerhouse. After that show ended, Cosby briefly returned to sitcoms with CBS's "Cosby," which ran from 1996 to 2000.
The 76-year-old Cosby is fresh off his first TV standup special in 30 years, Comedy Central's "Far From Finished," which aired in November. That month, he spoke with Yahoo TV about his plans to create a new sitcom: "I want to be able to deliver a wonderful show to [a] network ... Because there is a viewership out there that wants to see comedy, and warmth, and love, and surprise, and cleverness, without going into the party attitude."
"They would like to see a married couple that acts like they love each other, warts and all, children who respect the parenting, and the comedy of people who make mistakes. Warmth and forgiveness." He added that he's creating this new show for "the people who have come to me in public places and said, 'Can't you put something on that I can watch?'"
A word of caution, though, to Cosby and NBC: People were excited for Michael J. Fox to return to primetime, too. But his new sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show" has struggled in the ratings, and may not even earn a second season. And recent NBC comedies starring Must-See TV favorites like Matthew Perry ("Go On") and Sean Hayes ("Sean Saves the World") have fizzled as well.
Just goes to show that in today's ultra-competitive TV landscape, nostalgia can only take you so far.