|Created by||Bill Cosby|
Little Bill books
|Developed by||Fracaswell Hyman|
|Creative director||Robert Scull|
|Theme music composer||Bill Cosby, Don Braden, and Jon Faddis|
|Composers||Stu Gardner and Art Lisi|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||Nickelodeon Animation Studio|
|Original release||November 28, 1999 –|
February 6, 2004
Little Bill is an American animated educational television series created by Bill Cosby. It is based on the Little Bill book series, written by Cosby with illustrations by Varnette P. Honeywood. Cosby also composed some of the theme music, appeared in live-action in the show's intro sequence, and voiced the recurring character of Captain Brainstorm. It was Cosby's second animated series, after Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
The show's main character, Little Bill, is a fictionalized younger version of Cosby; the show's executive producer, Janice Burgess, described the character as "little Bill Cosby." Each episode features Little Bill learning a lesson while interacting with his large family and group of friends. The show was developed with a panel of educational consultants. The show is set in Philadelphia, Cosby's hometown. Little Bill's personality was inspired by both Cosby himself and his son, Ennis Cosby; Little Bill's catchphrase "Hello, friend!" was originally a greeting that Ennis used.
The series originally ran on Nickelodeon from November 28, 1999 to February 6, 2004, and reruns continued until December 22, 2006. In September 2007, Nickelodeon announced that Little Bill would permanently move to the Noggin channel. It premiered on Noggin on September 10, 2007. Reruns continued to air until 2014, when the show was pulled from the air.
Set in Philadelphia, the show centers on Little Bill Glover as he explores everyday life through his imagination. Little Bill lives with his parents, his great grandmother Alice (nicknamed Alice the Great), his older sister April, and brother Bobby. Each episode includes a daydreaming sequence where Little Bill imagines a fantastical scenario. At the end of every show, he breaks the fourth wall by summarizing his day to the audience by talking to the audience or Elephant, his hamster, before going to bed, and a family member offscreen asks, "Little Bill, who are you talking to?" causing Little Bill to laugh.
Little Bill was first announced in 1997. It aired on Nickelodeon from November 28, 1999 to February 6, 2004. It aired reruns until December 22, 2006. The series also aired on Nick on CBS from September 16, 2000 until September 9, 2006. In September 2007, Little Bill was moved to the Noggin channel, which advertised it as a "new series". Noggin aired five "premiere episodes" from September 10 to September 15, 2007.
Reruns of Little Bill were shown on Noggin and the Nick Jr. Channel until February 21, 2014, when Nickelodeon removed the show from its services. In addition to pulling reruns, Little Bill was removed from NickJr.com in 2014. Commenting on the show's removal from television, Distractify wrote: "Perhaps Little Bill should be left in the past."
In 2017, the American Library Association said that the Little Bill series was one of the books most often targeted for removal in school libraries due to the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby. In December 2014, TV Guide noted that Little Bill episodes had become difficult to find after the allegations, since the show was no longer aired on television.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||November 28, 1999||June 10, 2002|
|2||26||May 7, 2001||February 6, 2004|
- William "Little Bill" Glover Jr. (voiced by Xavier Pritchett) is an inquisitive 5-year-old boy. He has a knack for storytelling and often finds himself daydreaming his own fantasy words. The show's executive producer, Janice Burgess, described Little Bill as "in a way, little Bill Cosby." Little Bill's catchphrase "Hello, friend!" was originally a greeting used by Bill Cosby's late son, Ennis Cosby.
- William "Big Bill" Glover (voiced by Gregory Hines) is the city's building inspector who is Little Bill, Bobby, and April's father, and Brenda's husband. He is nicknamed Big Bill since both he and his son are named Bill. In an interview, Bill Cosby said that "I am Big Bill."
- Brenda Glover (née Kendall) (voiced by Phylicia Rashad) is Little Bill, Bobby, and April's mother, and Big Bill's wife. Brenda's voice actress, Phylicia Rashad, had previously played Clair Huxtable (wife to Cosby's character, Cliff Huxtable) on The Cosby Show.
- April Glover (voiced by Monique Beasley) is the oldest and only daughter of Brenda and Big Bill. She tends to be competitive and plays basketball.
- Robert "Bobby" Glover (voiced by Devon Malik Beckford in Season 1 and Tyler James Williams in Season 2) is the middle child, and oldest son of the Glover children. He is a Boy Scout and plays the violin.
- Alice the Great (voiced by Ruby Dee and Anika Walker in a flashback in "Good Ol' Lightning") is the great-grandmother of Little Bill, Bobby, April, and Jamal. Alice is also Brenda and Deborah's grandmother. She is in her seventies and lives with the family.
- Elephant is the family pet, a small, light yellow hamster who lives in Little Bill's bedroom. He often rolls around the house in a plastic hamster ball. He was named after Little Bill's favorite animal.
Friends and neighbors
- Captain Brainstorm (voiced by Bill Cosby) is Little Bill's favorite superhero. He is an astronaut with his own television show, Space Explorers. He has an orange rocket and an orange space suit.
- Miss Murray (voiced by Ayo Haynes in Season 1 and Melanie Nicholls-King in Season 2) is Little Bill's cheerful kindergarten teacher. She wears purple glasses. She marries Dr. Clinkscales in "Miss Murray's Wedding".
- Fuchsia Glover (voiced by Nakia Williams in Season 1 and Kianna Underwood in Season 2) is the paternal cousin of Little Bill, Bobby, and April. Her mother is named Vanessa and a father named Al. She is known for always speaking her mind.
- Andrew Mulligan (voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen) is an Irish-American boy who is Little Bill's best friend. He lives two houses away from Little Bill. He has an active imagination like Little Bill, and they often join each other in fantasy sequences. He has a dog named Farfy.
- Kiku Wong (voiced by Eunice Cho) is an Asian-American friend of Little Bill's. She likes being creative, putting on puppet shows, and making artwork. She is very ambitious and wants to be president when she grows up.
- Alan "Al" Glover (voiced by Michael Green) is Big Bill's brother, Fuschia's father, Vanessa's husband, and Little Bill, Bobby, and April's uncle. He runs a convenience store in town.
- Monty (voiced by Cole Hawkins) is the grandson of Alice the Great's friend Emmaline. He uses a wheelchair to get around, and he was born with cerebral palsy. Later in the series, he joins Little Bill's class.
- Dorado (voiced by Vincent Canales) is a friend of Little Bill's who is Puerto Rican.
- Michael Riley (voiced by Muhammad Cunningham) is a classmate of Little Bill's who moves to the neighborhood from Miami, Florida.
- Mrs. Shapiro (voiced by Madeline Kahn in her first appearance, and later by Kathy Najimy after Kahn's death) is Little Bill's neighbor.
- Dr. Winthrop Clinkscales (voiced by Christopher Grossett) is Mrs. Murray's husband, whom she married in "Miss Murray's Wedding".
- Mr. Miguel Rojas (voiced by Victor Argo) is an elderly Mexican-American man who speaks English and Spanish.
- Mr. Clark Terry (voiced by Clark Terry) is Alice the Great and Little Bill's new friend. He was voiced by Clark Terry, whom he is named and modeled after.
- Baby Jamal Welsh is Little Bill's maternal baby cousin, son of Deborah (Brenda's sister) and Gary.
- Percy Mulch (voiced by Doug E. Doug) is the owner of a pet shop.
- Mr. Williams (voiced by Mike Mearian) is a music store owner.
- Aunt Deborah Kendall (voiced by Grace Garland) is Brenda's younger sister, Uncle Gary's wife (voiced by Weston Clark) and Baby Jamal's mother.
Main video releases
|Name||Release Date||Number of Episodes||Episode Titles|
|Me and My Family||June 5, 2001||4||
|Big Little Bill||June 5, 2001||4||
|What I Did at School||August 21, 2001||4||
|I Love Animals!||February 5, 2002||4||
|Merry Christmas, Little Bill||September 24, 2002||3||
Episodes on Nick Jr. compilation DVDs
|Name||Release Date||Number of Episodes||Episode Titles|
|Nick Jr. Holiday||September 24, 2002||1||
|Nick Jr. Celebrates Spring!||March 2, 2004||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 1||May 24, 2005||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 2||October 18, 2005||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 3||February 7, 2006||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 4||June 6, 2006||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Holiday||September 26, 2006||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 5||March 13, 2007||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 6||August 7, 2007||2||
- 2003 – Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program – Gregory Hines
- 2004 – Outstanding Children's Animated Program
- Zurawik, David (November 28, 1999). "Cosby's 'Little Bill' sends the right message to kids". The Baltimore Sun.
- "Little Bill, Episode 224". NickJr.com. 2004. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016.
- "Little Bill episodes". TV Guide. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- "Shows - Little Bill". Noggin. Archived from the original on September 1, 2007.
- "Little Bill". noggin.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- "'Little Bill' Has a Brainstorm". Tulsa World. June 4, 2000.
- Owen, Rob (November 29, 1999). "'Little Bill' takes aim at kids, not merchandise". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Based on the books by Bill Cosby, "Little Bill" won't remind viewers of Cosby's "Fat Albert."
- "Met Him on a Fun Day and His Name Is Bill". The New York Times. May 6, 2001. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015.
'Little Bill is, in a way little Bill Cosby,' said Janice Burgess
- Mehren, Elizabeth (December 12, 1997). "Cos and Effect". Los Angeles Times.
- "Nickelodeon's 'Little Bill' Debuts as First African American Balloon In 76th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". PRNewswire.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "Nick Jr. TV Schedule: Week of December 18, 2006". NickJr.com. December 18, 2006. Archived from the original on December 19, 2006.
- "PR: Bill Cosby's 'Little Bill' Starts on Noggin on September 10, 2007". PR Newswire. 6 September 2007. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022.
- "Little Bill NOGGIN Release" (PDF). Nickelodeon Press. September 5, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 12, 2016.
- Piazza, Bianca (January 21, 2022). "'Little Bill' Boasts a Darker Energy Today Than It Did in 1999 — Is Bill Cosby the Protagonist?". Distractify.
- Shrivastava, K M (2005). Broadcast Journalism in the 21st Century. New Dawn Press Group. p. 56. ISBN 9788120735972. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "NickJr.com". Archived from the original on December 14, 2014.
- Grinberg, Emmanuella (April 10, 2017). "Bill Cosby's 'Little Bill' books targeted for censorship, library group says". CNN.
- Schneider, Michael (December 1, 2014). "How Bill Cosby's Tarnished Legacy Impacts His Business". TV Guide.
- "Meet the Characters of Little Bill". NickJr.com. 2009. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013.
- Bill Cosby. "Bill Cosby - June 15, 2014".
All of the characteristics of Little Bill include Ennis and Big Bill (I am Big Bill - my memories of around that age).
- Goldberg, Lesley (February 29, 2012). "'The Cosby Show's' Phylicia Rashad Joins NBC Drama Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Little Bill Thinks Big". Amazon. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- 61st Annual Peabody Awards, May 2002.