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This Comedy Legend Might Return to TV Sooner Than Expected


"It wasn’t a black family. It was America’s family."

Entertainer Bill Cosby meets with athletes during the Penn Relays athletics meet, Friday, April 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

He might need to fold up those iconic sweaters and go find some shorts.

In January, NBC announced that Bill Cosby would be coming back to TV next fall, and on Sunday the network pushed up the date of Cosby's return to, potentially, a less sweater-friendly summer 2015.

Entertainer Bill Cosby meets with athletes during the Penn Relays athletics meet, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

"NBC says Bill Cosby could be returning to the network with a new comedy as soon as next summer," the Associated Press reported. "The series, described as a 'classic, extended-family sitcom' with Cosby as the patriarch, is currently in the writing stage, NBC executives said at Sunday's session of the summer TV critics' tour."

Cosby's classic "The Cosby Show" ran for eight seasons between the late 80s and early 90s.

The media has been largely positive in greeting Cosby's return to prime time, heralding the comic's positivity

While arguing that "television could really use a Bill Cosby show right now," Slate's Willa Paskin noted the subtle racial dynamics of the original show.

"In contrast to the Norman Lear shows of the ’70s (Sanford and Son, Good TimesThe Jeffersons), which addressed social issues overtly, the racial dynamics of The Cosby Show were usually there as subtext," Paskin wrote. "But that subtext was plain to see to those members of the audience who wanted to see it. This subtlety helped make The Cosby Show a huge hit—it appealed to everyone—which in turn made the ’80s and ’90s a boom time for black sitcoms."

Others have gone so far as to say that "The Cosby Show," by presenting a positive portrayal of black family life, paved the way for Barack Obama's election.

But Cosby's appeal seems to be bipartisan.

“We’ve had an African-American first family for many years in different forms," GOP strategist Karl Rove on election night in 2008. "When ‘The Cosby Show’ was on, that was America’s family. It wasn’t a black family. It was America’s family.”

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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