On the eve of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial, Investigation Discovery on Monday (June 5) will air a special that looks at the legendary comedian’s career and personal life, along with the circumstances that led to the forthcoming trial, in which Cosby is accused of assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
I recently spoke to Pamela Deutsch, senior executive producer of Bill Cosby: An American Scandal, about the special and the light it seeks to shine on the tragic fall from grace for one of Hollywood’s most revered performers.
Here’s what Deutsch and Investigation Discovery wants you to know about Bill Cosby: An American Scandal.
The special looks bring viewers up to date on the case against Cosby: We have certainly covered this story on ID, but we thought that on the eve of this pretty historic trial, we would offer up a good, in-depth look of the story to our viewers. We have this incredible access to AMI’s (American Media Inc.’s) original reporting and files, and they’ve covered basically every angle of this story for the Inquirer and Radar Online. This is a very comprehensive look at how we got here and a look at Cosby’s rise to fame and some of the pretty shocking family drama that we think some people really haven’t heard about, and what may have propelled his fall from grace.
The special will present new revelations about Cosby’s personal life: There will be new information as we hope to explore how this person who was just universally revered could have been leading this double life. At this point people have heard the stories about all of the various women that have come forward, so we wanted to put it in context. Sometimes when this stuff plays out everyday in the news we often lose site of the bigger picture, so we’re giving our viewers who are following the story a capsulized form of the situation. We’ll look at the things that he has endured behind the scenes – the rape allegations surrounding his daughter; the death of his son; his [alleged] illegitimate daughter, Autumn [Jackson] and his relationship with her mother. We’re really hoping to look at some of the people in his inner circle to kind of figure out how and why we’re arrived at this point.
The special will not look to presume Cosby’s guilt or innocence: Most of us at this point have heard the testimonies of these women in other media and certainly on our network. What we are seeking to do is to answer some of the whys and how this could have happened. I don’t think anyone knows how this is going to go, but the reality is he could face up to 30 years in prison. It’s one of those stories where no one wins – it’s tragic all the way around. America has lost one of its heroes – no one wanted to believe that this guy who is the lovable, Jello pudding spokesman and the ultimate day from the Cosby Show was capable of this. I do believe Andrea Constand deserves her day in court, and there are upwards of 50 women who can’t really speak at this trial that are really looking toward Andrea Constand to be the voice for all of them.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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