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NBC is throwing itself a birthday party with Kelsey Grammer’s help

(Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

NBC turns 90 years old this year, and the network is turning to one of its most long-running, reassuring baritone voices to help usher it into its advancing age. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has tapped Cheers and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer to host a two-hour 90th anniversary broadcast for itself, one looking back at the peacock’s near-century on TV.

Airing on February 19, the special will also feature appearances from Ted Danson, Tina Fey, Debra Messing, Noah Wyle, Rob Lowe, Blake Shelton, William Shatner, Jennifer Lopez, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and Dick Wolf, the man who made the network synonymous with dramatic ”Dun-duns,” Chicago-based public services, and Ice-T not knowing about things.


The tribute will also highlight some of the network’s most successful shows, including The West Wing, Friends, Get Smart, and, most interestingly, The Cosby Show. In recent years, NBC has been leery of its one-time flagship sitcom, reluctant to associate itself with creator Bill Cosby and the numerous sexual assault accusations that have been levied against him. But ignoring the show’s impact would leave a massive gap in the network’s history, and so it remains to be seen how the special will thread the needle of acknowledging Cosby’s role in NBC’s success, while also acknowledging—or possibly just ignoring—the ugly elephant in the room.

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