At its executive panel, NBC revealed more details about its Bill Cosby multi-camera comedy project, which was put in development in January. It will be created by Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley and produced by Sony TV, where Sikowitz is under an overall deal, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. Sikowitz is also tied as a showrunner to the Sony TV-produced new CBS comedy The McCarthys, so I had heard that O’Malley would be writing with Sikowitz supervising. Actor O’Malley, who is eyed for one of the show’s leads, had been active on the writing side, starting with a staff writing job on Shameless, and has written a couple of pilots. As for the premise, it is a multi-generational family show, Salke said.
“Bill plays the patriarch of the family, dispensing his classic wisdom on relationships and parenthood, with three daughters, husbands and grandchildren,” Salke said “It’s a classic big extended family sitcom.” The hope is for O’Malley to play one of the husbands, she added. The show is eyed for next summer or fall 2015.
The Bill Cosby project is part of NBC’s commitment to the multi-camera genre, Salke said. Both Salke and NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke of the difficulty getting multi-camera comedies on the air that stick, having just unsuccessfully tried with Sean Saves the World. (The network has seen some encouraging numbers for Undateable this summer.) “There is a generation of writers and producers that has moved away from multi-camera,” Greenblatt said. Added Salke, “Nine out of 10 writers come in wanting to write single-camera comedy.”