Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BEN SILVERMAN DEPARTS THE PEACOCK

Well, the big news from the world of TV entertainment the other day was the exit/resignation/firing/whatever-you-call-it of NBC programming head Ben Silverman. A guy by the name of Jeff Gaspin takes his place.

Well, what do you expect? Silverman was leading a losing team, and when a team loses the coach walks the plank. Simply put.

Most of the pundits are saying this was a clear case of a spectacular mis-fit in the executive ranks. The legendarily hard-partying, hard-living Silverman was seen as totally out of place in the executive ranks of that uptight NBC network. While he was a genius producer and show creator (The Office etc.), as a network executive his tenure has been most commonly described as "disasterous."

It reminds me of the Howard Stern movie Private Parts, where Stern plays this wild and wacky deejay, and then he gets to uptight NBC and he finds himself watching his step. That's what happened with this guy.

I have real trouble, though, blaming Silverman entirely for the problems at NBC, because that place has been a train wreck since long before he arrived. And it's questionable Silverman had a hand in any of the more notorious bonehead decisions over there, like the idiot decision to boot Jay Leno from the Tonight Show and replace him with Conan O'Brien. That move looks more and more boneheaded every day, and the decision to put Leno on in the final hour of prime time is another truly defeatist move befitting a network mailing it in. I really doubt Silverman had a hand in that move, either.

What everyone is wondering is: why in God's name is Jeff Zucker still in charge over at the network? He's been in charge throughout the last several years of inept programming decisions, and yet he's the one who continues to get off scot-free the whole time. In fact, he's even been promoted! Life is just not fair.

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