NBC Said to Court Bill Cosby for Return to TV With Comedy

NBC is developing a new television series for comedian Bill Cosby, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The Comcast Corp.-owned network has hired writers to develop the comedy for Cosby, 76, said the people, who requested anonymity because the show hasn’t been announced yet. NBC and Cosby haven’t committed to making the show yet, they said.

NBC is betting the walk down memory lane will help draw viewers. “The Cosby Show” was the cornerstone of NBC’s Thursday night comedy lineup, helping the network dominate television ratings from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. NBC lured back actor Michael J. Fox, who starred in its 1980s “Family Ties” sitcom, to star in a Thursday night comedy that began airing in September.

Tom Werner, a producer on the original “Cosby Show,” has signed on for the new program, about a multi-generational family that will feature the comedian’s take on marriage and family, Deadline.com reported earlier today.

An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment. David Brokaw, Cosby’s publicist, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, rose 0.7 percent to $53.67 at 2:57 p.m. in New York. The stock gained 39 percent last year.

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