Saturday, May 27, 2017

What Might've Been: The New Bill Cosby Show (1972)

Ya know, it turns out that Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids may've been part of a package deal to bring series creator Bill Cosby to CBS, after his first two series had aired on NBC.

Cosby left the original Electric Company after 1 season, though some of his skits would apparently be re-used over the final five seasons, to begin work not only on Fat Albert, which was his most successful and longest running series (13 seasons), but a variety show.

The New Bill Cosby Show, however, ran for just 1 season, due to the fact that it aired on the wrong night. Its primary opposition in the fall was Monday Night Football, but, of course, that only lasted three months out of the year, so whatever else ABC put up in the interim, coupled with movies on NBC, resulted in Cosby's second shortest series. The shortest? Another variety series, Cos, which lasted two months on ABC in 1976.

Cosby retained musical director Quincy Jones from his 1969-71 NBC sitcom, and Lola Falana pulled off the feat of performing a dance routine and her announcer duties at the same time, as you'll see in this sample clip:



Falana accompanied Cosby for Cos 4 years later, and that would be Cosby's last attempt at fronting a variety show.

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