NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. A representative for Cosby was not immediately available for comment.
NBC's move comes in the wake of sexual assault allegations that have been levied against the 77-year-old comedian during the last month. Earlier on Wednesday, Netflix also postponed the release of Cosby's new stand-up special, "Bill Cosby 77."
Following the announcements by NBC and Netflix, TV Land pulled all reruns of "The Cosby Show" from its schedule as well.
Plans for Cosby's potential new NBC series were first announced in January of this year. As Deadline.com reported at the time, the show's focus would be Cosby, who was set to star as "the patriarch of a multi-generational family."
In July at the Television Critics Association press tour, NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke elaborated on the show's planned plot: "Bill plays the patriarch of the family, dispensing his classic wisdom on relationships and parenthood, with three daughters, husbands, and grandchildren." In August, it was confirmed that Cosby and NBC had a deal for a show in place, and that the finished product would likely air in the summer or fall of 2015. Despite the deal, sources told HuffPost Entertainment that NBC never gave an official go-ahead to the series and that the network was waiting on script delivery.
According to Deadline.com, NBC and Cosby will likely reach a monetary settlement over the decision to stop development on the show, which was executive produced by Tom Werner ("The Cosby Show") and written by Mike O'Malley and Mike Sikowitz.
Cosby has kept a low profile in the wake of renewed sexual assault claims from various women. Talk-show appearances he had previously scheduled with Queen Latifah and David Letterman were canceled in the last three weeks. Cosby did appear on NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday, but remained silent when asked about the allegations. A lawyer representing Cosby later released a statement on the comic's website:
Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives." - John P. Schmitt, lawyer for Bill Cosby
That post was later deleted and replaced with a new statement, which referenced a civil suit Cosby settled in 2006 with one of his accusers:
Joint statement from Dolores Troiani, counsel to Andrea Constand, and John P. Schmitt, counsel to Bill Cosby.
The statement released by Mr. Cosby’s attorney over the weekend was not intended to refer in any way to Andrea Constand. As previously reported, differences between Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand years ago. Neither Mr. Cosby nor Ms. Constand intends to comment further on the matter.
On Tuesday, model Janice Dickinson made claims that Cosby had "sexually assaulted" her in 1982. Cosby's lawyer, Marty Singer, told NBC News that Dickinson's assertions were "a complete lie."
While the NBC show is done, Cosby's stand-up career has not been affected. TMZ reported that a Cosby show in Melbourne, Florida set for Friday will go on as planned.
This post was updated to include news that TV Land will stop airing reruns of "The Cosby Show."