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October 13, 2015

Ben Silverman

Sofia Vergara to Produce New Comedy Series for ABC

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 5th 2010 11:30AM
Sofia Vergara'Modern Family' star Sofia Vergara and former NBC wunderkind Ben Silverman are teaming up for a new ABC comedy.

Vergara and Silverman are reportedly near a deal to executive produce an American adaption of the popular Spanish series 'Aquí No Hay Quien Viva.' Deadline Hollywood reports the project had many networks interested in it, but ABC won out due to the show's compatibility with 'Modern Family' and Vergara's involvement.

The project, which Deadline calls 'I Hate This Place,' is set in an apartment building and follows a multi-generational family. The original series focused on a strict father and his somewhat lazy son who work together to manage the quirky tenants of the family's apartment building.

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America Ferrera Bringing Interactive Telenovela to MTV

by Sharon Knolle, posted Apr 12th 2010 12:40PM
America Ferrera's star-making role on 'Ugly Betty' -- which has its series finale this Wednesday (10PM on ABC) -- was inspired by one of the world's most-popular telenovelas. Now, the Wrap is reporting that Ferrera will follow 'Betty' with another telenovela -- this time, on MTV.

'Pedro and Maria' will be the cable network's first telenovela, and its first truly interactive scripted series that will allow viewers to vote via Facebook and Twitter on the storyline. Ferrera is developing the bilingual Romeo and Juliet-esque series alongside Tony winner Quiara Alegria Hudes ('In the Heights').

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CBS exec session: CSI changes, Let's Make A Deal... and a few shots at NBC - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 3rd 2009 1:12PM
Laurence Fishburne, CSICBS programming chief Nina Tassler held court this morning in the CBS executive session. Her network is in an extremely strong position, so there wasn't much in the way of controversy to report, but here are some interesting tidbits from the session:

  • Laurence Fishburne's character of Dr. Langston on CSI will assume a more take-charge position this year, he'll also be given a "wardrobe makeover" so he seems, as Tassler put it "more comfortable in his own clothes."
  • Jorja Fox will be back for the first five episodes. And one of the main characters will get promoted. I won't spoil it for you, but you can probably figure out who it might be.
  • A new Let's Make A Deal with Wayne Brady as host, will be taking the place of Guiding Light. Tassler wouldn't go so far as saying this is a trend towards the return of daytime network game shows, but she did say she wanted to get a new LMAD on the air for a while.
  • No plans to bring back Flashpoint right now, though they can. More Canadian cross-production deals on the way, including The Bridge.
  • On NBC's late-night / Leno strategies: "Whatever numbers they get, they'll declare victory anyway, so it doesn't matter."
  • On the departure of Ben Silverman of NBC: "I'm really just a D-girl, so I wouldn't comment."

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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.

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Comic-Con's over... on to the TCAs!

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 27th 2009 3:28PM
TCA LogoIt's a busy time of the year for those of us involved in the TV criticism business. First, a whole stream of pilots come in. Then, the insanity of Comic-Con descends upon us. But when that ends, there's hardly time to rest; many of the writers and critics who braved the crowds in San Diego are now headed up to Los Angeles for the Television Critics Association press tour

John Scott Lewinski did a bang-up job of covering the Con for us; now I'm off to L.A. for the press tour. This summer, the tour will take place at the lovely Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, where cable, PBS, and the broadcast networks will parade their new and returning shows in front of critics and writers for almost two weeks. There will also be set visits and a few other fun things going on.

As I've done in the past, I'll try my best to give you the entire picture: dispatches from the panels, one-on-one interviews, executive tap-dancing, and more. I'll also be tweeting away on TV Squad's Twitter feed, so be sure to look there for the most up-to-the-minute news.

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Ben Silverman Leaves NBC

by Andrew Scott, posted Jul 27th 2009 11:00AM
Ben SilvermanNBC co-chairman Ben Silverman is leaving the network to form a new production company with Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp (IAC), Variety reports. The new company will reportedly "unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof."

Cable executive Jeff Gaspin will take over as chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment "effective immediately," according to the Wall Street Journal. Gaspin will also control NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in addition to his previous jobs.

Silverman's former colleague, Marc Graboff, will continue to serve as co-chairman, but will now report to Gaspin.

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Ben Silverman leaves NBC

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2009 10:33AM
SilvermanBen Silverman is leaving NBC to start a new media company.

A lot of people are going to rejoice over this news because they think that NBC hasn't been the same since he took over the entertainment department at the network. While he did bring The Office and The Biggest Loser to NBC, a lot of viewers have been confused by other moves at the network. Another show that Silverman had a hand in, The Jay Leno Show, will debut in September. We'll have to see how that goes.

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NBC confirms: Life is dead

by Kona Gallagher, posted May 4th 2009 4:40PM
life nbc

While they haven't yet made an announcement about other on-the-bubble shows, including Medium, Law & Order, and of course, Chuck, NBC's Ben Silverman has confirmed that Life has indeed been canceled. Life is just the latest victim of the Writers' Strike curse: ABC's Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money are among some of the other series that had their freshman seasons interrupted by the strike that began in November of 07, and won't live to see a third season.

Other second season shows, including the aforementioned Chuck, along with ABC's Samantha Who? and FOX's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are currently on the bubble. The CW's Gossip Girl is one of the few shows that premiered during the 07-08 season that is definitely going to make it to the 09-10 one.

The strike spooked the networks and advertisers, and we're obviously feeling the effects now, over a year after it ended. What it boils down to is a lot of great shows are suffering-- and Ben Silverman is a dick.

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Hasn't NBC learned? Never trust a guy with the last name of Silverman

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 20th 2008 1:02PM

Ben Silverman and Fred Silverman -- not releated, but cut from the same programming clothThe species known as the network executive (networkitus executivus) is unique in the world of nature. Seemingly human in stature and characterization, the network executive is unusual in the sense that its brain is seated firmly in its tushie region. As this area of the executive's body gets the least amount of blood during an average day this leads to some very strange programming decisions. Thus, the reason that viewers were entertained by Cop Rock, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and that sitcom that starred Emeril.

This lack of blood also causes memory loss. At least, that's what I believe it does because it's the only way I could think of that NBC would hire Ben Silverman to co-chair the entertainment division. Or, rather, hire another man named Silverman to help program their primetime schedule. For, if their memories were working properly, they would have realized that another man with the last name of Silverman came to the NBC 30 years ago and proceeded to muck everything up as well.

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All Rich wants for Festivus

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 18th 2008 7:32PM

Will any of my Festivus wishes come true? Only time will tell.I was looking at my last two Festivus wish lists in an attempt to determine if any of my requests came true. Turns out, many of them did come to fruition -- something that I'm damn proud of. Sadly, a new sitcom for Dustin "Screech" Diamond did not materialize. Oh well, maybe that will occur sometime next season when, after coming out of a trance, the NBC executives realize they made a terrible mistake putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 pm and need something to fill the empty space.

Now, without further ado, let me put down the aluminum rod for a bit and talk about my Festivus wish list for the upcoming year.

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All Allison wants for Festivus

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 18th 2008 11:30AM
P daisiesOh, Festivus, Oh, Festivus, the holiday for TV fans. How exciting that once a year we can close our eyes, click our heels and make our wishes for the magical ways television can be made better in the year to come. Still, there are more than a few changes that I think need to be made to make TV better ... not to say that it's bad. It just that everything can be better.

This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:

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Just be glad Leno didn't get the 8pm slot instead

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 10th 2008 3:06PM
LenoI'm sure a lot of "end of the year" lists are going to have to be scrapped and started again because of this whole last-minute, December-to-remember announcement about Jay Leno getting the 10pm time slot every single night on NBC. In a year that saw the writers strike, the Fey/Palin stuff, and the election, this might turn out to be an even bigger story. But it could have been a rather different story if Leno had said yes to the first offer made by NBC.

They were going to give him a half hour every night at 8pm.

That's one of the many revelations in this interview (link goes directly to audio) that Ryan Seacrest did with NBC chief Ben Silverman on his radio show yesterday. Silverman also offered Leno the chance to go either on cable or on syndication, but Leno said he wanted the 10pm slot. They also offered Leno 12 new cars, a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living, a brand new platinum bidet, and one year of meats from the Meat of the Month Club.

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NBC is actually happy with Ben Silverman

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2008 3:12PM
Ben SilvermanYou would think that a TV network that just canceled two big shows and had to pretty much take over another big show wouldn't be too happy with the company's entertainment head. But that's not what's happening over at NBC.

The network just canceled the Christian Slater spy drama My Own Worst Enemy, and Lipstick Jungle looks like it might be done too. Both shows starred big names and the network were hoping they'd stick around for a while. Meanwhile, Heroes has seen a huge drop in ratings, producers are being fired, and the show is being overhauled for its (hopeful) fourth season. But Silverman isn't being blamed for these miscues. Exec Katharine Pope was in charge of those shows (and Bionic Woman) so she is the one being blamed, according to The New York Post.

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Devin Banks + Ryan Howard = Ben Silverman?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 28th 2008 3:34PM
Ben SilvermanHere's an interesting little tidbit from 30 Rock star/producer/writer Tina Fey: NBC boss Ben Silverman was the inspiration for four characters on the show.

It's one of the many subjects covered in this long Fortune profile of the controversial TV exec. Fey doesn't say who all of the characters are or how they are based on Silverman, except in one case. She explains that evil TV executive Devin Banks (played by Will Arnett) is the one that's based on Silverman the most.

This has got to be the best backhanded compliment since Mike Myers said that Dr. Evil was based on Lorne Michaels.

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NBC gives Knight Rider a full order

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 21st 2008 12:01PM
KROkay, the other day I applauded Fox for giving Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles a pick up for the remainder of the 2008-2009 season. Even though the critics have been expecting more from the sci-fi series, Fox chose to stick with the show and give it a chance to evolve. Good for them!

That said, the news today that NBC has given Knight Rider a full season order leaves me cold. That's an order for nine more episodes, and it strikes me as throwing good money after bad. Knight Rider has been struggling in the ratings and generally dissed by the critics. It hasn't earned a pick up to be perfectly frank.

So why would NBC give this remake of the 1980's action drama a vote of confidence? Well, it could be that it's considered one of NBC programming chief Ben Silverman's pet projects.

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