Just Announced: BET Cancels Reruns of The Cosby Show
The network's Centric station was the last holdout.
It has been almost a month since TV Land stopped showing reruns of The Cosby Show in the wake of the numerous sexual assault and rape allegations against its creator and star, Bill Cosby. Fans could still watch episodes of the hugely popular ’80s show on Centric, the BET-owned channel available on Comcast, FiOS, Dish, and DirecTV, but as of Wednesday, BET says it won’t be airing the show — at least for the time being.
After multiple requests over the past 72 hours for comment on the network’s apparent decision to continue running the show, BET senior publicist Ter’rece Walker finally answered via email this evening. “We have decided to rest the series at this time,” Walker wrote, the language suggesting that a return is possible. Walker didn’t immediately respond to a request for further information on the decision. In a search of Comcast’s onscreen guide in Philadelphia, the last mention of the show was in Wednesday’s 10 p.m. to 11pm time slot.
BET rebranded its station BET J (formerly BET Jazz) as Centric in 2009, targeting a general-interest adult African-American audience. And on November 30th of this year, BET announced that it was rebranding Centric again as “the first network designed for black women.” No word on whether this new female focus influenced the decision.
On Monday, a spokesman for ASPiRE, Magic Johnson’s fledgling channel, said that the station was no longer showing reruns of The Cosby Show or I Spy. In November, around the same time that TV Land made its cancellation public, Netflix indefinitely postponed its Bill Cosby comedy special, and NBC said it was no longer moving forward with a long-planned prime-time sitcom starring Cosby.
For now at least, it looks like Cosby Show fans’ only recourse is YouTube.