09/24/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT
NBC (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET)
Premiere: Thursday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m. ET No doubt about it, The Cosby Show is by far the best of the new season (and the lead-in to the finest night on TV, Thursdays on NBC, with Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court and Hill Street Blues). This is a supersitcom, funny, fast-paced, lovable and real. You have to hear Bill Cosby himself deliver the best lines with that half grin, half growl of his: they don't quite work without him. But here's a sampling anyway: Poor Cos, playing a New York doctor, walks into his home and before he can say a word, his wife, Phylicia Ayers-Allen, demands, "Why do we have four children?" He replies, "Because we did not want five." Cosby goes into his son's room—a sty that makes The Odd Couple's Oscar look fastidious—and says, "Hard to get good help, isn't it?" Then, in one magnificent routine, Cosby uses Monopoly money to give the kid a lecture on earning a living. Finally he meets his daughter's date, who says: "After you've been in a Turkish prison, everything else is easy." The kids are all cute—but not too cute. The writing is top-notch. The direction keeps the pace perfect. And Cosby is at his funniest. His show is a must.