NBC Pulls Plug on Bill Cosby Comedy Amid Latest Rape Allegations, While Netflix Nixes Stand-Up Special

Bill Cosby NBC Comedy Cancelled

Sources confirm for TVLine that NBC has halted development of a new comedy to be headlined by Bill Cosby, in the wake of ongoing and new allegations of sexual assault levied against the veteran entertainer.

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson is the latest woman to come forward with allegations of sexual assault, her own encounter dating back 32 years. (Dickinson told Entertainment Tonight that an attempt to chronicle the assault in her 2002 memoir was stifled by Cosby’s lawyers.)

At least four other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, with one filing a lawsuit that was settled out of court in 2004.

Executive-produced by The Cosby Show‘s Tom Werner and previously eyed for a Summer or Fall 2015 launch, NBC’s new comedy was to star Cosby as Jonathan Franklin, the patriarch of a multigenerational family who imparts his decades of wit, wisdom and experience on his children and grandchildren.

NBC’s decision comes on the heels of Netflix announcing that it is “postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special Bill Cosby 77,” which was to commemorate the entertainer’s 77th birthday and be released Nov. 28.

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  1. behzadbyhimself says:

    I hope Internet alarmists are happy now. Let’s move on to wreck someone else and their careers based on unfounded claims with zero evidence. Meanwhile Woody Allen keeps making films with A-list talent.

    • Lizo says:

      You should give us ‘internet alarmists’ more credit. We are boycotting Cosby but we also do not support Woody Allen. Your comment is more directed at Hollywood types who are easier to forgive white men for their sex crimes then black men. Roman Polanski still makes a-list films too.

      • Hilary says:

        Please. What’s your excuse for why Lena Dunham, who admitted to her crimes, is still supported by nearly everyone, with main popular news sites defending her?

        • TV Gord says:

          Lena was a child when those things happened. Are you suggesting children should be charged, convicted and sent to jail? Now, her parent(s), if they knew, that’s another story (they probably didn’t, though).

    • Tom says:

      Way to contradict yourself in one fell swoop. Until proven one way or another, it’s irresponsible of any network to continue projects with Cosby. And, frankly, the same should be said about Woody Allen as well.

    • Brooke says:

      As someone said below, “This is a lot of someones, making very similar accusations, over a long period of time.” This is not a new accusation. The last time victims spoke out, the internet is not what it is today. Social media was in its infancy. Now, it’s much easier for people to become aware of what charges have been made and it can’t be hushed up so easily with a court settlement.

  2. Lizo says:

    Good. When I read the Janice news this morning I’ve been waiting to see an announcement like this.

    • Jack says:

      Shoudnt there be…I dont know…proof before we drag the man under the bus? I am not defending him, because I have not seen any proof one way or the other. But calling it “news” when it comes from someone like Janice Dickinson, who is still trying to be relevant…it just does not make sense. I guess I am just one of those silly people who believes in innocent until proven guilty…

      • MrMank says:

        Agreed, Jack. But when was the last time THAT was the law of the land?

      • Patrick says:

        There have been shouted rumors about Cosby for years. This isn’t someone, alone, making an accusation. This is a lot of someones, making very similar accusations, over a long period of time.
        Further, the silence from his coworkers is deafening. That no one who has ever worked with him is refuting these claims speaks volumes.

        • TV Gord says:

          Your second paragraph is something that I hadn’t thought about before, and is a very good point! Even his friend Whoopi Goldberg had a very difficult time discussing it on The View yesterday! The most she said to defend him was to say people do come forward with false allegations.

          I guess he’s not social-media-savvy enough to know that silence is deadly in today’s court of public opinion. That radio interview a few days ago was very poorly handled by him. It’s hard to have someone’s back when he’s not doing anything to help himself.

        • Hilary says:

          I don’t recall many “coworkers” supporting John Travolta or Michael Jackson when multiple people accused both of molestation.

      • Lizo says:

        When 15 women have come forward amidst the wave of harassment and violence that will be directed at them because of speaking out…I tend to believe them. And the studios are doing the right thing by just temporary stopping production until more information is available.

  3. Dean says:

    Given NBC’s luck with comedies this doesn’t surpise me.

  4. Marky says:

    Where was this outrage with Woody allen?

  5. El says:

    That was the right thing to do. Such a history of accusations, even if they get refuted, must not be ignored. Now let Marty earn his retainer. We’ll see.

  6. Drew says:

    I think that the allegations from several women should be taken seriously. People should listen, observe the evidence and decide who they believe. That’s really all that will probably come of any of this, since they can’t press charges at this point. So who do we believe? The women or Bill Clinton?

    Sorry. Cosby. I meant to say Cosby.

  7. Tom says:

    History is not on the side of the women coming forward. So we should applaud the bravery to come forward anyway as opposed to sitting in the darkness ashamed. These allegations are appalling and NBC and Netflix are doing the right thing by stepping out of the fray. Let us all take time to come together and defend the victims and not the powerful men who commit the crimes.

    • Drew says:

      Allegedly. History is also full of opportunistic women accusing powerful men of crimes that never happened. While i would enjoy seeing any rapist beaten good and bloody in the streets, we don’t have the luxury of simply taking people at their word. Truth is, we will probably never know the truth behind any of these stories and we will never be sure who the liar is. That is why it is so important to come forward quickly. Evidence is key and can prevent further crimes from being committed.

      • Tom says:

        Well then we need to allow the victims to feel comfortable coming forward and support them instead of trashing them.

        • Drew says:

          Nobody is trashing any victims. But after seeing one too many angry mobs with torches and pitchforks going after men who turned out to be innocent, I am not willing to simply take someone’s word at face value. Not theirs. Not his. However, the burden of proof is on the accuser and I don’t see that happening unless they have a 30 year old blue dress lying around.
          I don’t like rapists. I also don’t like witch hunts. This is far from a clear cut situation.

  8. KC says:

    This is terrific! I was waiting for this announcement.
    Glad NBC did the right thing!!!

  9. Sheila says:

    Between this and Stephen Collins, I’m starting to feel like my whole childhood was a lie.

  10. Man I hope this doesn’t turn out to be true. Bill Cosby’s been a cultural icon for so long it would be a shame to have it all tainted now. Then again the British had somewhat similar experience with Jimmy Savile, so anything is possible.

    Probably for the best to steer clear of controversy for now as while it is of course innocent until proven guilty claims of sex crimes and brutality are not a cloud you want hanging over your projects, true or not.