NBC has confirmed that Bill Cosby is developing a possible new sitcom he would star in.
The deal brings the 76-year-old entertainer together with a writing staff to create a script for a comedy that casts Cosby as the patriarch of a multigenerational family.
An NBC spokesman said Wednesday that, as yet, there is no series order, or even a deal to produce a pilot episode.
Cosby’s greatest TV triumph began at NBC three decades ago, when “The Cosby Show” launched in September 1984. It ran for eight seasons.
Less successful was “Cosby,” another sitcom that aired on CBS for four seasons starting in 1996.
His latest TV venture is “Bill Cosby: Far From Finished,” a stand-up comedy special that premiered on Comedy Central in November.
John speaks out about anti-gay law
Entertainer-songwriter Elton John is declaring his support of the Russian people, and he says they still accept him despite that country’s harsh new anti-gay law.
Passed last year, the so-called “gay propaganda” law bans promotion of “nontraditional sexual relations” to minors.
John said Wednesday that he visited Russia in December concerned that the new law would affect how he was treated as “an openly gay foreigner.” He said he received a warm welcome.
But if foreign visitors are unaffected by the law, John said it has legitimized “vicious homophobia” against gay Russians.
John calls the legislation “deeply dangerous” to the gay and lesbian community and “deeply divisive” to Russian society.
He volunteered to introduce Russian President Vladimir Putin to gay Russians to help promote understanding.
Chinese viewers to get dose of ‘Ellen’
Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show is getting a new audience – viewers in China.
The lighthearted, celebrity-focused show is now available in China on video site Sohu, with Chinese subtitles and within 48 hours of its original U.S. broadcast.
It is the first U.S. daily talk show to be carried in China, according to a statement Tuesday by distributor Warner Brothers and Sohu.com Inc.
Sohu Video, like other Chinese online video sites, licenses many hit American TV shows. Earlier this month it unveiled the late-night U.S. comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” as an addition to its lineup.
DeGeneres’ show is in its eleventh season and has won many U.S. awards.
Sohu CEO Charles Zhang said it believes “it could also have strong appeal and relevance with the Chinese audience.”
The birthday bunch
Actress Chita Rivera is 81. Actor Rutger Hauer is 70. Singer Anita Pointer (the Pointer Sisters) is 66. Actor Richard Dean Anderson (“MacGyver”) is 64. Singer Anita Baker is 56. Actress Mariska Hargitay is 50. Actress Tiffani Thiessen is 40. Bassist Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 39.