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Q: The advertisement for the University of Phoenix -- is that Phylicia Rashad doing the narration?

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Yes it is.

Tony-winning Broadway star and, of course, Emmy-nominated "Cosby Show" star Phylicia Rashad has found time, between stage and TV commitments (which are much more demanding now that she has a full-time series gig on "Do No Harm") to do commercial voiceovers, including most recently a series of ads for the University of Phoenix.

The ads are part of the school's "Let's get to work" campaign. One ad positions the school's programming as a solution to the "skills gap in America," and features a somber-sounding Rashad, her rich-voiced narration accompanied by a very spare piano rendition of "Amazing Grace."

The other is a little more upbeat, and talks about how to "get ahead in your career" over a more electro-jazz soundtrack.

"Cosby Show" fans, of course, already associate Rashad with school, since, as a lawyer who graduated from the fictitious Hillman College, her character was constantly imparting the importance of higher education to her four kids.

The show's creator, Bill Cosby, has long been devoted to pushing the importance of education in real life. On top of making his landmark sitcom, in which both parents were incredibly well educated (his character was a doctor), his previous television forays included educational series "The Electric Company" and "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."

Rashad will have less time for commercial work now that she's employed full time on a new series. NBC's "Do No Harm," which premiered two weeks ago, makes her the doctor this time.

She plays Dr. Vanessa Young, chief of surgery at a hospital that unfortunately employs a neurosurgeon with a split personality. The conflict between the brilliant doctor and his "dangerous alternate personality" forms the core plot of the medical thriller.

 

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