BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Bill Cosby could be returning to the network with a new comedy as soon as next summer.

The series, described as a "classic, extended-family sitcom" with Cosby as the patriarch, is currently in the writing stage, NBC executives said.

Cosby, 77, has a long history with NBC, including his seminal "The Cosby Show," which became a smash hit 30 years ago and helped rescue a network then at the bottom of the ratings.

If the new Cosby project isn't ready for next summer, it could be a contender for fall 2015.

Another veteran NBC star, Michael J. Fox, returned to the fold last fall. But despite his breakout success in 1982 on "Family Ties," "The Michael J. Fox Show" proved to be a flop and was cancelled this spring.

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt acknowledged his disappointment that the show didn't click with viewers.

The upcoming Cosby venture will use multi-cameras and be filmed in front of a studio audience, a format that has lost ground at NBC, where single-camera comedies like "30 Rock," "The Office" and ‘Parks and Recreation" have thrived. Greenblatt said the network is trying to bring back this classic "multi" form, which goes back to "I Love Lucy" and the earliest days of network television.


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