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BILL COSBY WILL END HIT SITCOM NEXT YEAR, STAR IN MARX SERIES

Say the magic word? Bill Cosby says he'll star in a new version of Groucho Marx's long-running "You Bet Your Life" game show and will end his hit NBC situation comedy next year.

Cosby previously "has said this will be his last year," NBC spokesman Curt Block said Friday. The star's "The Cosby Show" will start its eighth season next fall.Cosby reported his plans for his "You Bet Your Life" in interviews with the New York Daily News and New York Post. In the Marx series, contestants won money by correctly answering questions on history and other topics, or by happening to say the daily "magic word."

Cosby said his will lack two of Marx's trademarks. There will be no cigar because "times have changed. I smoke but I don't smoke on stage." And, Cosby said, he will refrain from "denigrating" contestants for humorous effect.

Block said it isn't known yet if Cosby's new version of the show will be syndicated or offered to NBC. "That's up to Bill and Carsey-Werner," he said, referring to the producton company that produces Cosby's NBC series.