A Very Different Kind of Cosby Show

One-hour A&E special picks up where recent New York magazine cover story left off.

NBC’s The Cosby Show debuted Thursday, Sept. 20, 1984. Tonight, on the third September Thursday of this calendar year, an altogether more shocking program featuring the comedian is set to be unveiled: Cosby: The Women Speak, on A&E.


Among those featured in the one-hour documentary is Heidi Thomas (pictured). She alleges that just a few months before the debut of The Cosby Show, the entertainer lured her to Reno, drugged her and forced himself upon her. On Tuesday, Thomas was one of three Cosby accusers who met in Denver with State Rep. Rhonda Fields to discuss the possibility of Colorado amending its 10-year statute of limitations on sexual assaults.

In 1984, John J. O’Connor wrote in The New York Times that ‘The Cosby Show is by far the classiest and most entertaining new situation comedy of the season.’ The reviews for tonight’s Cosby show are much less cheerful. From today’s write-up by New York Daily News TV critic David Hinckley:

It just keeps getting a little harder to believe that this many women would make up this many consistent stories of drugged drinks and sexual assault.

It’s easier to believe they kept quiet for decades because this was Bill Cosby and they felt alone.

Some of the women here still look shaken. Mostly they look relieved, that they can finally reveal this corrosive secret and not be further shamed.

Sad and tragic.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
New York Magazine Puts 35 Cosby Accusers on the Cover

[Image courtesy: A&E]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: September 17, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/cosby-the-women-speak-heidi-thomas/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT