NEW YORK (AP) – NBC says it has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development, the second outlet within a day to put off or abandon a Cosby project after another sexual assault allegation against the comic emerged.
NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Wednesday the project “is no longer under development,” and had no further comment.
Netflix announced late Tuesday that it was postponing the Nov. 27 premiere of a new Cosby standup comedy special, giving no hint about whether it ever will be aired. Hours earlier in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” actress Janice Dickinson became the third woman in recent weeks to allege she’d been assaulted by Cosby – charges strongly denied by the comedian’s lawyer.
Dickinson told “Entertainment Tonight” that Cosby had given her red wine and a pill when they were together in a Lake Tahoe, California, hotel room in 1982. When she woke up the next morning, “I wasn’t wearing my pajamas and I remembered before I passed out I had been sexually assaulted by this man.”
Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer, said in a letter to The Associated Press that Dickinson’s charges were “false and outlandish” and were contradicted by Dickinson herself in a published autobiography. Cosby’s spokesman, David Brokaw, has not returned calls for comment.
The spiraling scandal has threatened the 77-year-old comedian’s reputation as America’s TV dad at a time when he was launching a comeback. He has at least 35 performances scheduled throughout the U.S. and Canada through May of 2015. None of the performances has been cancelled.
NBC’s project, announced in January, was in the very early stages, without a script or commitment to production. But it would have brought Cosby back to the network where he had reigned in the 1980s with the top-rated “The Cosby Show.”
Mark Kennedy and Frazier Moore in New York and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this story.