NBC chair Bob Greenblatt discusses the necessity of nixing the proposed Bill Cosby series, and embracing Dolly Parton. With the burgeoning accusations of sexual assault piling up against America’s favorite father figure of the 1980s, plans for proposed new family-friendly comedy featuring Cosby on NBC had to be scrapped. Sony was going to produce it, but as the scandal heated up, it was canceled before NBC even received a script.
At the Television Critics Association press conference in Pasadena, Greenblatt said that when the deal was first made in the summer, there had been talk of a settlement made by Cosby for sexual assault, but the allegations had not yet reached “critical mass.”
“He hasn’t yet been proven guilty of anything. I don’t want to be the one who says guilty until proven innocent, but when you have that many people come out and have complaints and it became a tainted situation, there was no way we could move forward. I didn’t think it was a problem until it became critical.”
One figure who has been free from controversy, at least relatively speaking, for decades is Dolly Parton, with whom NBC has a more promising deal. “I don’t know anyone in the world who doesn’t love Dolly Parton, and the idea of developing television movies inspired by her incredible life and the stories she has sung about for decades is exciting for all of us at NBC, ” said Bob Greenblatt, according to tasteofcountry.com
NBC, in conjunction with Sam Haskill’s Magnolia Hill entertainment, will develop several two hour movies about Dolly Parton’s life and music. Dolly Parton said, “I am so excited to be involved with my friend Bob Greenblatt who produced the Broadway version of ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ with me and my friend Sam Haskell … we want to create projects for NBC that are fun and inspirational with a family audience in mind.”