The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984, until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on the Huxtable family, an upper middle-class African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.
The Cosby Show spent five consecutive seasons as the number-one rated show on television. The Cosby Show and All in the Family are the only sitcoms in the history of the Nielsen ratings to be the number-one show for five seasons. It spent all eight of its seasons in the top 20.
According to TV Guide, the show “was TV’s biggest hit in the 1980s, and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC’s ratings fortunes.” TV Guide also ranked it 28th on their list of 50 Greatest Shows. In addition, Cliff Huxtable was named as the “Greatest Television Dad”.
In May 1992, Entertainment Weekly stated that The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows with a predominantly African-American cast, from In Living Color to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The Cosby Show was based on comedy routines in Cosby’s stand-up act, which in turn were based on his family life. The show led to the spinoff A Different World, which ran for six seasons from 1987 to 1993.