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Name: The National Broadcasting Company
Occupation: fourth place TV network
Last Seen: New York, NY
Bee-otched For: thinking that an old formula will work in 2014
Sometimes in the world of broadcasting, what's old is new again.
NBC hasn't had the best luck all year. As a matter of fact, they're in fourth place behind Fox, CBS and ABC. Only two of NBC's shows - The Blacklist and American Ninja Warrior - made it into the top 25 on the Nielsen charts.
Of course, NBC has been there before, and much worse. Remember the late 70's and early 80's. Yep, pure crap like She's the Sheriff and Pink Lady and Jeff. But in 1984, they launched The Cosby Show and the ratings took off.
I remember an old Al Jaffee article in MAD Magazine as a kid that talked about what TV network initials really stood for. PTL was "Preachers Taking Loot", ABC was "A Bland Channel" and NBC was "Needs Bill Cosby" with an image of him carrying 30 Rockafeller Center. I've always wondered why people found Cosby funny, especially since when he blasted The Simpsons for not being funny, and yet that show was a helluva lot funnier than his.
But now, NBC needs Cosby's help... Again. Last week, it was announced that he's developing a new "multi-generational" sitcom that will have a lot of the same elements as The Cosby Show. His co-star will be Phylicia Rashad and it will be produced by Carsey-Werner. Cosby also used both Rashad as his wife and Carsey-Werner for his two previous shows, including Cosby, which ran from 1996-2000 on CBS.
Now, it is noted that Cosby was canceled only because of poor timeslot decisions by CBS. But the question is, can 76-year-old Bill save NBC?
I'll admit that I have a love-hate relationship with Cos. He's trying to prove that blacks can be successful and smart, but the fact that he is trying to fight a so-called war against obscenity and trying to set a good example for all people does fall flat on his ass.
His biggest example? Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Now, I've been watching a lot of that show as of late, especially since it's on BounceTV (WOOD-TV 8.2 here in Grand Rapids). Some of the episodes I've seen have dealt with gambling, smoking, pornography and drugs. Yet, Bill plays gigs at casinos, has been spotted with fat cigars and is a regular at the Playboy mansion. I also love the fact that FA has been lauded for its positive portrayal of African-Americans, yet many of the black voices on the show were that of whites, such as the show's producer, Lou Scheimer, who voiced Dumb Donald. It's also worth noting that most of the people who voiced Albert's friends - Eric Suter (Rudy), Jan Crawford (Russell) and Gerald Edwards (Weird Harold) - have virtually no information on the web about them.
Oh, and it's also noted that Cosby is working on a revival of FA. No word on what the show will be like once it airs (bear in mind that Filmation closed in 1989 and Lou Scheimer passed away late last year).
Granted, I don't HATE Bill Cosby; it's just that you have to take his advice with a grain of salt. He might say one thing, but he'll act against it. He's almost no different than a preacher preaching against gays and yet, he's one himself. I wouldn't be too surprised if Bill cheated on his wife of 50 years, Camille many times. After all, he paid off a woman claiming to be his love child years ago.
So there. I think NBC needs to have better ideas than to bring back Bill Cosby in yet another Cosby Show knockoff. But, it's almost weird to see that the same network that hired Howard Stern to do America's Got Talent is putting him on the same network as Cosby. Talk about strange bedfellows.
But as they all say, it's the viewer who makes the final call.
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