NEW YORK – At age 67, Bill Cosby (search) is not finished talking about parenthood.
It was the subject of his hit sitcom of the 1980s, "The Cosby Show," (search) and also his bestselling book, "Fatherhood" (search) (1986), which has be come the basis 18 years later for a new animated series on Nick at Nite.
Premiering Sunday (Father's Day) at 9 p.m. (and airing regularly on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting June 28), "Fatherhood" focuses on the Bindlebeep family — Dr. Arthur Bindlebeep, his wife, two daughters and one son.
Cosby is executive producer of the series, Blair Underwood stars as Arthur and Ruby Dee and Lou Rawls play Arthur's parents, Louise and Lester.
Not only does the scenario resemble the "The Cosby Show," but "Fatherhood" explores the same territory.
Both shows reflect Cosby's belief that the firm involvement of parents in their childrens' lives will help the kids develop into well-adjusted adults.
It's a worthwhile enough idea, even if it doesn't always work out that way. You can't fault Cosby for promoting such a noble cause, even if he is occasionally misunderstood.
That's what happened last month when a speech he gave in Washington erupted in controversy.
"These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around," Cosby said at an NAACP-sponsored event commemorating the 50th anniversary of school desegregation.
"I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' . . . and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk . . ." said Cosby, who complained that some lower-income parents have dropped the ball when it comes to encouraging their kids to stay in school.
Leaders of the NAACP and others criticized Cosby for the remarks, calling them unfair and labeling Cosby an "elitist."
Cosby possibly could have worded his remarks more thoughtfully, but it's also possible his critics overreacted since Cosby was simply making the same point he's been making for more than 20 years — that a strong family unit can have a character-building effect on kids.
In the end, it remains to be seen whether this theme makes for an animated series people will watch.