Showtime To Air Bill Cosby Documentary Series

Showtime in January will air a new documentary series about comedian Bill Cosby directed by comedian W. Kamau Bell.

The docuseries, We Need to Talk About Cosby, debuts Jan. 30 on Showtime, a week after it premieres at the Sundance Festival. The four-part series takes an in-depth look at the revolutionary career and personal descent of one of America’s most famous comedians. 

Bell (CNN’s United Shades of America) explores the complex story of Cosby’s life and work, weighing his infamy as a criminal defendant in a sexual-assault prosecution against his indisputable global influence through interviews with comedians, cultural commentators, journalists and women who share their most personal, harrowing encounters with Cosby, according to the network.

“Kamau has bravely ventured into a very complicated and nuanced area of the Bill Cosby story, which has yet to be explored in this depth,” said Showtime executive VP of nonfiction programming Vinnie Malhotra. “It’s an important and under-reported perspective on the legacy of one of history’s most iconic African American entertainers.”

Added Bell: “As a child of Bill Cosby, I was a huge fan of all his shows and wanted to be a comedian because of him. I never thought I’d ever wrestle with who we all thought Cosby was and who we now understand him to be. I’m not sure he would want me to do this work, but Cliff Huxtable definitely would.”

We Need to Talk About Cosby is executive produced by Bell, Andrew Fried, Katie A. King, Dane Lillegard, Jordan Wynn and Sarina Roma. ■

R. Thomas Umstead

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.