NBC announced recently that Bill Cosby will be joining the peacock network once again to develop a 30-minute sitcom with his long time creative partner Tom Werner (of Casey Werner). Cosby aims to develop and star in this creative project as the sole patriach of a multi-generational family – much like The Cosby Show.
The yet-to-be-named project is still putting together its creative team but I can’t help but wonder if NBC will be able to back such an endeavor. The last black centric primetime series NBC aired was the short lived J.J. Abrams drama Under Covers starring Boris Kodjoe and the critically acclaimed Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Currently on its primetime roster are token blacks sprinkled throughout Revolution, Parks and Rec, Parenthood, The Michael J. Fox Show and Chicago PD to name a few.
Fox, however, seems to have the most diverse primetime lineup with the likes of Sleepy Hollow, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Almost Human. A mere observation, not a scientific fact. Hopefully this Cosby endeavor will be a turning point in NBC’s diversity attempts.
Anywho, if Cosby prevails, it’ll be nice to have a primetime sit com centered around a black family aired once again on a major network. Perhaps people will start to realize (and remember – Fresh Prince of Bellair anyone?) that we don’t all have a Madea to call our own.
On a random note, if you’re in need of a “modern,” non Tyler Perry polluted family sitcom surrounding a black family, might I suggest heading over to CBS.com and checking out Everybody Hates Chris.