*NBC now wants no part of Bill Cosby.
The peacock has opted not move forward with a planned family comedy starring its former “Cosby Show” star in the wake of multiple sexual assault allegations that have either resurfaced or come to light in recent days.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that NBC never received the final script for the project, which also didn’t have a production commitment.
As previously reported, Cosby was to play a family patriarch and father to three married daughters with children in the untitled comedy from Sony Pictures Television. “Rules of Engagement” alum Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley (“Shameless”) were set to write and produce the comedy, and O’Malley was eyed for a co-starring role. NBC Entertainment head Bob Greenblatt envisioned a summer or fall 2015 debut for the series.
But NBC has decided to let all of that go after decades-old rape allegations against the legendary comedian resurfaced. The comedian on 2006 settled out of court with a woman who claimed he’d sexually assaulted her. According to court documents, the attorneys planned to bring forward 13 other women with similar allegations. Cosby has denied these allegations.
In an essay on Hollywood Elsewhere, former actress, music publicist and journalist Joan Tarshis wrote that Cosby drugged and raped her on two occasions in fall 1969 when she was 19. Barbara Bowman, another alleged victim, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week that she was drugged and raped by Cosby in the 1980s. In 2006, Cosby settled out of court with Andrea Constand, who claimed he sexually assaulted her.
On Tuesday, a new allegation surfaced, this one from former supermodel Janice Dickinson, who claimed in an Entertainment Tonight interview that Cosby raped her in 1982.
The rape allegations resurfaced after critics complained that a new Cosby biography left out the rape allegations and after stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress onstage eviscerated Cosby onstage last month. Cosby’s PR team attempted to focus on the comedian’s colorful history as a star of The Cosby Show and pitchman with botched meme generator effort on social media that instantly backfired.
NBC’s decision comes after Netflix “postponed” its post-Thanksgiving Cosby special on Tuesday.
Cosby, meanwhile, has remained silent. The comedian canceled appearances on “The Queen Latifah Show” and “Late Show With David Letterman” to support his Thanksgiving comedy special on Netflix.
In a statement released Nov. 16, Cosby’s rep said the resurfaced allegations are untrue, and Cosby himself refused to respond to questions about the claims during an NPR interview Nov. 15.