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Will the Peacock's plumage perk up now that Ben Silverman has bailed ship?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 28th 2009 12:02PM
Former NBC Entertainment Chair Ben SilvermanNBC has broken some interesting new ground under their now-former entertainment co-chairman, but they have also broken new lows in the same amount of time. The only reason it is hovering between third and fourth is because UPN isn't around anymore to screw with the flowcharts.

Ben Silverman has made some significant contributions to the Peacock Network, most notably with the smash cult hit The Office, a show that wouldn't have even had a second season if people like Silverman weren't willing to give it a chance to grow.

Overall, however, NBC is in the dumper. And this is from a network that used to dominate free TV in almost every single category, from comedies to dramas to the newly mutated drama-comedies or dramadies. These days, "comas" is a more appropriate term.

Silverman got the brunt of the heat for the dodgy numbers, and they aren't entirely his fault. An old yellow dog newspaper editor once told me that blaming George W. Bush for the country's problems was like blaming Mickey Mouse for the Walt Disney Company's dwindling stock price.

He came into his position at the top of his game, but at the worst possible time. Networks were in the thick of a Writer's Guild Strike that ground almost every conceivable entertainment production to a halt, and Silverman was charged with revitalizing the network's prime-time schedule when barely anyone was working. It's no wonder that almost every show under his watch crashed and burned faster than a Pinto on Firestone tires.

But he was also good at shifting the blame, a course that's required curriculum for a degree in Executive Network Management 101. The most famous blame toss was lobbed the White House's way when the networks complained that President Barack Obama was driving down their ratings with his constant stream of television addresses when the world thought it would drown in a massive swirling vortex of debt, unpaid mortgages, swine flu and an invasion of evil robots that turn into inconspicuous looking cars and trucks.

So, now that Silverman is out, I asks ya, will NBC do any better now that he's not adding his own spice to the stew?

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"Ben Silverman has made some significant contributions to the Peacock Network, most notably with the smash cult hit The Office, a show that wouldn't have even had a second season if people like Silverman weren't willing to give it a chance to grow. "

How is taking a show that already existed and change the actors around and make it a American friendly script a significant contribution? That's a sign of desperation when you have no ideas.

July 29 2009 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Picviewer's comment
Brent McKee

As I said before, Silverman wasn't even one of those who gave it a chance to grow. His company was the producer. The network executive who put the show on the air was the man that Silverman replaced, Kevin Reilly, and it was the network not the production company that gave it a chance to grow. That would be Reilly who is now the head of network entertainment at FOX and gave us Lie To Me, Fringe and Dollhouse. Silverman gave us Kath and Kim, Knight Rider and My Own Worst Enemy.

July 29 2009 at 3:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NBC can only do better since Silverman is gone. My question is who will become the new President of NBC. First what the new President should do is try to get rid of the 5 days, 9:00-10:00 hour reserved for Jay Leno. That was a huge mistake and someone have to clean this mess up. Next they need to take Chuck off the graveyard Friday night slot and put them on after a show with a good following (Biggest Losers anyone). Next, either make Fuller work full time on Heroes or hire the writers and producers of The 4400. The 4400 was a better show than Heroes and Heroes took most of their ideals from The 4400. Next, NBC should give drama and sci-fi shows the same opporunities to succeed as comedies. When comedies ratings are bad, NBC will give it time to grow (The Office, 30 Rocks), however when drama/sci-fi shows ratings are bad NBC will cancel them (Journeyman).

And lastly, NBC should hire me.

July 28 2009 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Just remember, Silverman didn't bring The Office to NBC in his role as an executive of the company but in his previous role as the head of Reveille Productions. It was Kevin Reilly, now at FOX, who was presiding over NBC Entertainment when they picked up The Office.

July 28 2009 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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July 28 2009 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like I've been saying, I could do a better job running NBC spending no more than 2 hours a day on it.

And I really hate this guy for cancelling "Life", one of my favorite shows. Of course, he had a good reason for cancelling it since they never marketed it, never promoted it, and never said a word about it, and kept moving it around, delaying it, etc., so it had no chance. Asshole.

Why do these people sabotage their own products? What kind of person does that?

And "The Office" is highly overrated IMO. Just a bunch of character actors being their characters. It's better than a reality show, but I've never understood the following that show has. It's not even original - it's a ripoff remake of the British show of the same name. Stupid.

July 28 2009 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should stop looking for short term highs & start looking for ratings over the long term. They should run NBC like a cable channel, (USA) for example & they own that property. The know what to do, some programs take time to find audience & I know that costs money, but they got to suck it up and take it. In the long term they will win. Shows like Life & Kings maybe should have aired twice a week or also on USA or any other cable channel they own and promoted that way.

July 28 2009 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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