Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Cancels Cosby Project | Today Firings Rumor ‘Wrong — Period’

[emailonly]{{{ sbox300x250 }}}[/emailonly] Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Cosby’s New NBC Show Is No Longer in Development (HuffPost)
NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. THR / The Live Feed NBC handed out a script plus significant penalty for the comedy earlier this year, tapping Rules of Engagement alum Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley (Shameless) to write and produce the comedy. O’Malley was eyed for a co-starring role on the comedy, which NBC Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt envisioned for a summer or fall 2015 debut. Deadline The Cosby NBC multi-camera comedy project, executive produced by The Cosby Show’s Tom Werner, would’ve had Cosby starring as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multigenerational family who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives. In light of the slew of rape accusations, it would’ve probably been hard for viewers to accept Cosby as a lovable family man and for NBC to sell the project to advertisers. The Associated Press / The Big Story A TV Land spokesperson said reruns of The Cosby Show will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. The Cosby Show also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon. PRNewser Both NBC and Netflix, who decided that it would be best to postpone the planned launch of its comedy special Bill Cosby 77, which had been planned to go live the day after Thanksgiving, have clearly made their respective decisions with their brands in mind. The allegations show no sign of going away anytime soon. In fact, the talk about them seems to be escalating the more we hear from the alleged victims and others surrounding the issue. FishbowlNY It started this week with a Vice article by Tracie Egan Morrissey, who excerpted passages about Cosby from former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty. It quickly escalated with Dickinson shockingly filling in the blanks in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier. While the additional, shared details were immediately dismissed by Cosby attorney Marty Singer as “a defamatory fabrication,” some earlier legal wrangling with Cosby apparently kept these allegations from surfacing well before 2004 accuser Andrea Constand filed suit. TVNewser CNN’s Don Lemon has issued an on-air apology for remarks he made during Tuesday night’s interview with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis. Lemon, who is a victim of sexual abuse himself, caused a social media uproar by telling Tarshis, “there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

NBC News on Us Weekly Today Show Story: ‘Rumors Are Wrong — Period’ (TVNewser)
Us Weekly went way out on a limb Wednesday morning with a piece claiming that two Today show hosts, Willie Geist and Natalie Morales, were fired and are now in talks with CBS and ABC, respectively. None of that is true, say NBC and CBS and ABC. New York Daily News “Willie and Natalie were never told they were fired,” an NBC insider told the Daily News. “These plans were a part of a memo, a proposal — a potential future for the show that never came about,” the source said. Fox News Geist later denied the reports in a tweet published late Wednesday. BuzzFeed Morales has been a part of Today since 2006 when she was brought on as a national correspondent. Two years later, she was promoted to co-anchor, and in 2011, she replaced Ann Curry as news anchor. Curry was notoriously unceremoniously fired from her anchoring duties in 2012, after a short time as co-anchor. Geist is newer to Today. He was named co-host of NBC’s Morning Joe in 2007, and, two years later, he was given his own show on NBC called Way Too Early With Willie Geist, which ran before Morning Joe. In 2012, Geist left Way Too Early to co-host the 9 a.m. hour of Today.