The Full Wiki

Cosby: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Genre Sitcom
Created by Bill Cosby
Developed by Bill Cosby
John Markus
Starring Bill Cosby
Phylicia Rashād
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Doug E. Doug
Madeline Kahn (1996–1999)
Jurnee Smollett (1998–2000)
Darien Sills Evans (1999–2000)
Theme music composer Bill Cosby
Benny Golson
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 95
Executive producer(s) Bill Cosby
Dennis Klein
Norman Steinberg
Tom Straw
Producer(s) Marcy Carsey
Joanne Curley-Kerner
Caryn Mandabach
John Rogers
Peter Tortorici
Tom Werner
Running time 22 mins. (approx)
Original channel CBS
Audio format Stereo
Original run September 16, 1996 – April 28, 2000
Related shows One Foot in the Grave

Cosby is a situation comedy television series broadcast on CBS from September 16, 1996 to April 28, 2000. The television program starred Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashād (who previously worked with Cosby in the 1984–1992 sitcom The Cosby Show). Madeline Kahn portrayed their neighbor, Pauline, until her death in 1999.



Cosby portrays grumpy Hilton Lucas, a man forced into early (and unwanted) retirement. His wife Ruth is played by Phylicia Rashād. Initially, Telma Hopkins was cast as Ruth Lucas; however, she was recast after she didn't react well to Cosby's tendency to ad lib.[1][2] The couple had one daughter, Erica Lucas, portrayed by T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh. Doug E. Doug played Griffin Vesey, a friend of the Lucas family who tried occasionally to win Erica's affections, but they decided just to remain friends when in the fourth and final season, Darien Sills-Evans portrayed Darien Evans, Erica's fiancé/husband. Jurnee Smollett also joined the cast as 11-year-old Jurnee, who Hilton adored.

The show was based on the concept from the BBC series One Foot in the Grave, starring Richard Wilson and Annette Crosbie.[3] David Renwick, the creator and writer of One Foot in the Grave, was listed as a consultant of Cosby. One Foot in the Grave was notable for containing dark humor for a mainstream sitcom, and was therefore a surprising choice for adaptation to American TV[citation needed]. The tone was significantly lightened for Cosby, although certain controversial scenes such as a scene in which the lead character incinerates a live tortoise, were recreated (albeit with a turtle in this case).

Cosby premiered to an audience of more than 24.7 million viewers[4], but averaged 16 million viewers[5] during the course of the season. As the series progressed, ratings shrank and CBS, fresh with new hit comedies in Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens, decided to move the series from Monday to Wednesday and eventually Friday[citation needed]. The moves led to a drop in ratings and, frustrated by declining ratings and the move, Cosby and CBS executive Leslie Moonves reportedly decided to mutually end the series.[6] The last episode, "The Song Remains the Same," aired on April 28, 2000, and was the 95th episode to be produced and broadcast, drawing just over 7 million viewers.


Nielsen Ratings

Cosby was considered to be a ratings success for CBS, winnings it time slot of Monday, 8:00 PM in households and viewers for the first three seasons.[5]

Season Timeslot (EST) Episodes Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 16, 1996 – May 19, 1997) 25 #21[7] 16.0[5]
2 Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 15, 1997 – May 18, 1998) 24 #28[8] 13.8[8]
3 Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 21, 1998 – May 17, 1999) 25 #35[9] 12.5[9]
4 Wednesday 8:00 P.M. / Friday 8:30 P.M. (September 29, 1999 – April 28, 2000) 21 #82[10] 8.36[10]


The series was distributed by Carsey-Werner Distribution for broadcast syndication for the 2000–2001 television season, where it ran until the fall of 2003. TBS shortly thereafter ran reruns of the series for about two years. On February 1, 2010, the Gospel Music Channel began running the series after a four year absence from television.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1997 BMI Film & TV Awards Won BMI TV Music Award Bill Cosby and Benny Golson
1998 BMI TV Music Award Bill Cosby and Benny Golson
1997 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series Theodore Ashton, Neal Carlos, Tom Conkright, Stephen A. Jones, Ritch Kenney, Karl Messerschmidt, and J.A. Stuewe Prudden (For pilot episode)
1998 Won Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series Alan Walker (For pilot episode)
1997 NAACP Image Awards Won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Phylicia Rashād
Outstanding Comedy Series
1998 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Doug E. Doug
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Phylicia Rashād
Outstanding Comedy Series
1999 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Doug E. Doug
Won Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Jurnee Smollett
Outstanding Comedy Series
2000 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Doug E. Doug
Won Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Jurnee Smollett
1997 People's Choice Awards Won Favorite Television New Comedy Series
1999 Satellite Awards Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Phylicia Rashād
1999 TV Guide Awards Nominated Favorite Actor in a Comedy Bill Cosby
2000 Favorite Actress in a Comedy Phylicia Rashād
Favorite Actor in a Comedy Bill Cosby


  1. ^ Levesque, John (1996-07-23). "CBS Sitcoms: Cosby Big on Tradition, Bochco's Not". Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  2. ^ Carter, Bill (1996-07-23). "A Chance to Swing the Bat". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  3. ^ "It's Crystal Clear: 'Living Color' Actress Joins 'Cosby'". The New York Daily News. 1996-08-19. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  4. ^ Huff, Richard (September 21, 1996). "SHIELDS OUTDRAWS FOX AND COS". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  5. ^ a b c "CBS and Bill Cosby Announce Finale for 'COSBY'". CBS Television. 2000-03-24. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  6. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2000-03-27). "CBS Catalyst 'Cosby' Going". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1996–1997". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  8. ^ a b "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #434 May 29, 1998.,,283382,00.html. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  9. ^ a b "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  10. ^ a b "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address