The Cosby Mysteries
Created byDavid Black
William Link
Directed byJerry London
StarringBill Cosby
Robert Stanton
James Naughton
Rita Moreno
Mos Def
Lynn Whitfield
ComposersCraig Handy, David Weiss
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes19 (18 + pilot)
Running time60 minutes per episode
Production companiesSah Enterprises
Columbia Pictures Television
NBC Productions
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 31, 1994 (1994-01-31) –
April 12, 1995 (1995-04-12)

The Cosby Mysteries is an American mystery drama television series starring Bill Cosby that aired on NBC from September 21, 1994, to April 12, 1995. 19 episodes were made. It was the first television series to star Cosby since The Cosby Show (which ended in the spring of 1992) and lasted just one season (1994–1995).[1] Actor/rapper Mos Def appeared in several episodes (sometimes credited as Dante Smith).[2]


Cosby played Guy Hanks, a New York City Police Department criminalist, who retired from the police force after winning $44 million in the lottery.

His peaceful retirement was frequently interrupted by his former colleagues, Detective Adam Sully (James Naughton) and medical examiner John Chapman (Robert Stanton), who asked him to consult on tough cases. As Hanks used his wits and his forensics knowledge to solve crimes, he dealt with his holistic housekeeper Angie Corea (Rita Moreno) and his girlfriend Barbara Lorenz (Lynn Whitfield).[3]

Production history

The show was created by David Black and William Link. Link's previous series included Columbo on NBC and Murder, She Wrote on CBS. Link developed the series at Cosby's request, as Cosby wanted to make an intelligent, character-driven mystery series that did not rely on graphic violence.

The show began on January 31, 1994, as a two hour movie, and 18 regular episodes began airing on NBC on September 21, 1994. Its NBC premiere ranked 54th among the season's network prime time series. Executive producer William Link criticized NBC for not effectively advertising the show before its premiere launch. NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield blamed Bill Cosby for not using his personal fame to promote the show.

At the beginning of 1995, creators William Link and David Black were dropped from the production team by NBC.[4]

Critics expressed hope that The Cosby Mysteries would fare better than Cosby's previous two ventures,[5] Here and Now and the game show remake, You Bet Your Life. The Cosby Mysteries has been rerun in the United Kingdom, on digital channel ITV1, and in the United States on A&E, STARZ! Mystery and TV One.

The Cosby Mysteries was shot in New York City by SAH Enterprises.[6]


The Cosby Mysteries only lasted just 19 episodes, and was cancelled in February 1995.[4] On April 12, 1995, The Cosby Mysteries ceased operations for good.


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Pilot1January 31, 1994 (1994-01-31)
118September 21, 1994 (1994-09-21)April 12, 1995 (1995-04-12)


Pilot (1994)

No. No. in season Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Pilot"Jerry LondonDavid Black and William LinkJanuary 31, 1994 (1994-01-31)
First ever episode. NYPD criminalist Guy Hanks retires from the force.

Season 1 (1994-95)

No. No. in season Title Directed by Written by Original air date
21"The Lottery Winner Murders"Jerry LondonStory by : David Black & William Link & Ed Zuckerman
Teleplay by : Ed Zuckerman & Edward Tivnan & Alfonse Ruggiero
September 21, 1994 (1994-09-21)
Guy is profoundly shocked when a killer targets lottery winners.
32"Our Lady of Cement"Philip SgricciaStory by : Robert Van Scoyk
Teleplay by : Alfonse Ruggiero
September 28, 1994 (1994-09-28)
A mummified corpse is found in a refurbished apartment.
43"Self Defense"E. W. SwackhamerEdward TivnanOctober 5, 1994 (1994-10-05)
Sully is accused of murdering a cop.
54"Only You"E. W. SwackhamerSiobhan ByrneOctober 12, 1994 (1994-10-12)
A bereaved husband asks Guy to investigate his wife’s life.
65"One Day at a Time"John WhitesellCharles KippsOctober 19, 1994 (1994-10-19)
Guy Hanks investigates a recovering substance abuser’s claim of innocence for the killing of a district attorney.
76"Home, Street Home"Corey AllenCharles KippsOctober 26, 1994 (1994-10-26)
Guy identifies a homeless woman’s body.
87"The Fine Art of Murder"Alan J. LeviStory by : Edward Tivnan & William Link
Teleplay by : Edward Tivnan
November 2, 1994 (1994-11-02)
Simon Jones plays a multimillionaire with Guy acting as his alibi.
98"Expert Witness"Corey AllenStory by : William Link & Edward Tivnan & Nancy Miller
Teleplay by : Charles Kipps & Siobhan Byrne & Nancy Miller
November 16, 1994 (1994-11-16)
An OAP cat burglar is accused of murder.
109"Mirror, Mirror"Gwen ArnerStory by : Harold Schechter
Teleplay by : Harold Schechter & Eric Overmyer
November 30, 1994 (1994-11-30)
Guy investigates the death of a well-known lawyer.
1110"Camouflage"Neema BarnetteEric OvermyerDecember 14, 1994 (1994-12-14)
Guy investigates a 12 year old boy’s murder.
1211"Last Tango"John BowabStory by : Max Eisenberg & Lonon Smith
Teleplay by : Max Eisenberg & Lonon Smith & Edward Tivnan
January 4, 1995 (1995-01-04)
A well-known dancer is found murdered.
1312"Comic Book Murder"Lou AntonioStory by : Kenneth Cosby & David Black
Teleplay by : Kenneth Cosby & Siobhan Byrne
January 11, 1995 (1995-01-11)
A comic book artist becomes a prime suspect when a well-known artist is found murdered.
1413"Baker's Dozen"Nick HavingaStory by : Jack Richardson
Teleplay by : Charles Kipps & Jack Richardson
February 1, 1995 (1995-02-01)
Guy’s friend mysteriously vanishes.
1514"The Hit Parade"Neema BarnetteLee Goldberg & William RabkinMarch 8, 1995 (1995-03-08)
A professional killer is found dead.
1615"Big Brother is Watching"Alan J. LeviTerence WinterMarch 15, 1995 (1995-03-15)
Guy investigates when a boy he’s partnered with in a Big Brother’s program claims to have witnessed a murder.
1716"The Medium is the Message"Alan J. LeviPaul Robert CoyleMarch 22, 1995 (1995-03-22)
A recording executive is found murdered on a jogging path.
1817"Goldilocks"Win PhelpsLee Goldberg & William Rabkin & Terence WinterApril 5, 1995 (1995-04-05)
Guy returns from holiday early and finds a dead mystery woman’s body in his bed.
1918"Dial H for Murder"Lou AntonioR.J. StewartApril 12, 1995 (1995-04-12)
Last ever episode. Guy’s name is scrawled on the deceased Broadway performer’s hand.

In popular culture


  1. ^ "The '95 TV Season: Who's Gone? Who's New? Who's Back?". Ebony. 50 (12): 94. 1995. ISSN 0012-9011. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  2. ^ "The Cosby Mysteries (1994) (TV)". The Internet Movie Database. January 31, 1994. Retrieved January 6, 2010.[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Johnson, Robert E. (1994). "Bill Cosby Begins TV Season With New Mystery Series Co-Starring Lynn Whitfield". JET. 86 (21): 60–63. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Michele Willens (February 23, 1995). "Bill Cosby's Show Remains a Mystery : Television: NBC pulled the 'failure-proof' star's drama after it floundered but plans to bring a revised show back in March. Still, some believe if Cosby returns, it should be in a sitcom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  5. ^ Randolph, Laura B. (1994). "Activist-Actor Celebrates 30 Years of Wedded Bliss, Continues Fight Against Black Stereotypes on TV". Ebony. 49 (7): 104. ISSN 0012-9011. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Julio Martinez (June 30, 1994). "The Cosby Mysteries". Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "FuzzyMemories.TV – Saturday Night Live – "The Cosby Mysteries" (1994)". February 5, 1994. Retrieved February 29, 2012.