Air Dates: September 20, 1984–April 30, 1992
Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Raven-Symone, Sabrina Le Beauf
Today's younger generation probably only knows the great Bill Cosby as either the Jell-O dude or the old man who released 2009's bizarre hip-hop album State of Emergency. Older heads, of course, know Cosby for much greater accomplishments, most notably the groundbreaking NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 through 1992 and redefined small-screen domestic norms.
Based largely on Cosby's own stand-up comedy routines, The Cosby Show presented heartwarming family values accentuated by intelligent humor that never veered into disrespect or insensitivity. Over a whopping 197 episodes, the Huxtables showed the mainstream that a sitcom anchored by an all-black cast could both pull in huge ratings and change previously close-minded viewers' perceptions. —JK