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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three Strikes and You’re Out — Bill Cosby Gets Slashed by TV Land, Netflix, and NBC Amid Rape Allegations

Bill Cosby

Nationwide — Actor/comedian Bill Cosby, although 77-years old is probably going through the toughest time in his life, as nearly every television network that aired or had plans of airing his shows, has now pulled the plug. All of this is in response to 10-30 year old rape allegations against him that have now resurfaced.

First, NBC, which is owned by Comcast, said they won’t move forward with a new sitcom they were developing where Bill Cosby was supposed to play a grandfather who would share, often his worldly views and wisdom.

Then, Netflix said that they too would pull the plug on a stand-up special featuring Bill Cosby that was set to debut on Thanksgiving day.

Finally, TV Land, which is owned by Viacom, announced that not only will they stop promoting a marathon of The Cosby Show for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, but they would also complete remove the show from their roster.

Ouch! But the decision doesn’t just hurt the pockets of Bill Cosby. It also hurts his fellow actors and actresses, as well as the writers and producers, that were also receiving residual checks from the airings.

According to one former executive at Carsey-Werner, which produced the show, reruns of The Cosby Show have generated more than $1.5 billion in revenue during the last 20 years. And back in the 1980’s, the show broke records as TV stations paid a total of $4 million per episode.

“People were falling all over each other to do those deals, it was the blue-chip sitcom of its time,” said one industry executive.

But according to Wall Street Journal, Cosby won’t exactly be walking away  empty-handed. His deal with NBC included a penalty fee of more than $1 million if they ever decided to back out of the deal.

And experts say that likely another network will want to start airing the re-runs after this all blows over. But that’s the question: Will this ever blow over? Even more, will Bill Cosby’s clean, fatherly image ever recover?

Only time will tell.