The Cosby Show

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The Cosby Show is a family oriented, American sitcom starring Bill Cosby. The show first aired in 1984 and ran for eight consecutive seasons, until 1992, on NBC.

The Show

The Cosby Show was based on a large, middle to upper class family: the Huxtables. The show takes place in Brooklyn, New York, and features Heath Cliff (Cosby), an obstetrician, and his lawyer wife, Clair (Phylicia Rashad). This loving couple are the parents of five children, which makes for a rambunctious household. They are the average American television family, except for the fact that they're African American.

The show deals with everyday things the average family deals with including everything from children growing up, to Cliff’s battles with his cholesterol, to dealing with in-laws.

Show Success

The Cosby Show was an instant hit. It won a Peabody Award, three NAACP Image Awards, and three Emmys as well. Not only was it accepted in African-American households, but with white families as well.

Other than All in the Family, The Cosby Show is the only other show to have been listed number one in the Nielsen Ratings for five television seasons in a row. Their opening season (1984-85), they were ranked third then moved up to first from 1985-1990. They fell to number five in 1990-91 and then to number 18 in 1991-92. At this point, even though it was still popular and a success, Cosby decided to cancel the show.


Bill Cosby, besides having a large part of creative control in the show, was the main character, Heath Cliff Huxtable. He was married to Clair, played by Phylicia Rashad. Their children include:

Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux (played by Sabrina Le Beauf)
Denise Huxtable Kendall (played by Lisa Bonet)
Theo Huxtable (played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner)
Vanessa Huxtable (played by Tempestt Bledso)
Rudy Huxtable (played by Keshia Knight Pulliam nee Baxter)

Other members to join the cast include Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Sondra’s husband, Joseph C. Phillips as Martin Kendall, Denise’s husband, Erika Alexander as friend Pam Tucker, and Raven-Symone as Olivia Kendall, Denise and Martin’s daughter.