Stephen Colbert (see below) used his platform as a Daily Show correspondent to develop a more prominent showbiz career. Others who did the same: Rob Riggle, Aasif Mandvi, Ed Helms, Rob Corddry, John Oliver, and, of course, Steve Carell.
Allison Williams is, of course, the daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams. Her predecessor as Pan, Mary Martin, also was related to a famous TV personality. She was Larry Hagman's mother.
The Cosby project NBC just shelved would have been the performer's fourth network sitcom. He's also starred in two variety shows, a mystery series, a game show, and a sort of talk show (Kids Say the Darndest Things). Oh, and a cartoon or two.
Don't miss these five this week.
Drunk History DVD What a concept: Unreliably inebriated narrators distort key chapters from our past. This box gathers up the first two seasons of this irresistible Comedy Central jape, along with two hours of bonus footage. On sale Tuesday.
It had already been a brutal fall for Bill Cosby when the decisive blow came down last week: NBC announced it would not be going forward with its sitcom planned for next fall starring Cosby as the father of three adult daughters.
One of the distinctions of Katherine Heigl's career is that she starred in what is often cited as the lowest-grossing movie of all time, the unfortunately titled Zyzzyx Rd. Released in 2006, the film took in $20 (gulp!) at the box office in its opening weekend. Then it tapered off.
Five shows you don't want to miss this week.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta There's just no pleasing some people. Like Mama Joyce, even after Kandi offers to buy her a house down the block. 8 p.m. Sunday on Bravo
It's highly unusual for NBC to be premiering a big-ticket series such as State of Affairs this late in the season (10 p.m. Monday), but the network is in a bit of a quandary.
A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.