NBC could be the first to officially cut ties with comedian Bill Cosby over new allegations that the star drugged and raped more than a dozen women over several decades. According to Variety, the network is facing "mounting pressure" to halt a Cosby sitcom currently in development, and while NBC would not comment officially on the future of the project, it seems as if there is little chance it will come to fruition.
The cancellation of the project could have some financial benefits for Cosby, though. Variety reports that the comedian cut a deal with NBC earlier in the year, which would result in the network paying him a penalty fee should the sitcom be stopped in production:
In a sign of the clout that Cosby still wielded, under the deal orchestrated by his reps at CAA, it’s understood that the penalty fee is to be paid to Cosby rather than the studio developing the script, which is Sony Pictures TV. Writers Mike O’Malley and Mike Sikowitz were tapped to write a domestic vehicle for the comedian. The studio is not believed to have delivered a finished draft script to the network yet.
Cosby has been making public appearances recently, both to promote the untitled NBC project and to promote a Netflix special, "Bill Cosby 77," which is still expected to be released later this month. The star recently canceled an appearance on "Late Show With David Letterman" following a widely publicized NPR interview in which he remained silent on the accusations against him.