OK, normally, I am not the kind of person to gloat when bad things happen to jerky people (even if they totally deserve it!) but when I heard that NBC Universal’s much-maligned entertainment co-chairman, Ben Silverman was fired today, I gotta admit, I kinda cheered!
That’s right, amigos, the man who brought you such immortal classics as “My Own Worst Enemy”, “Kings”, “Crusoe”, “Kath & Kim”, the crazy-expensive (not to mention totally unnecessary!) remakes of “Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider”, and Survival Sunday cheesefests like “Meteor” and “The Storm”, has finally been shown the door. Hooray!
In his defense, Silverman was a well-regarded producer of such hit shows as “Ugly Betty”, “The Office”, and “30 Days” before taking the reigns at NBC, so, when the network brass hired him to lead NBC out of the crapper in 2007, he seemed like an inspired pick.
But it was soon clear to everyone involved that Silverman was not the “rock star executive” he promised to be. Not only were many of his big ideas just plain lame — hello, “Rosie Live!” anyone? — but by making crass product placement a way of life at the network, greenlighting expensive duds left and right, and calling writers “the nerdiest, ugliest, meanest kids in the high school” during the dark days of the WGA strike, Silverman really was his “Own Worst Enemy”.
My old NBC strike squad actually made up Silverman-specific chants during the strike…of course, I’ve forgotten most of them, but, trust me, they made our Carson Daly chants look friendly!
In fact, at one point, there was talk of staging a Ben Silverman prom in honor of his statement about us “ugly writers” trying to “cancel the prom” when we threatened to bring down NBC’s telecast of that year’s Golden Globes. And though we never held the actual prom, we did get the Globes downgraded to a “news event”, and, as you can see, we crafted some pretty cool paraphernalia in preparation for it…so, suck it Silverman!
But prom or no prom, the good news today is that the cheesy-ass king of all things crappy at NBC is finally gone. Yay! Now, if we could just do something about those annoying “Jay Leno at 10PM” commercials…yikes…