Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, quits his position to launch a company with IAC/InterActiveCorp, whose chairman and CEO is Internet mogul Barry Diller. According to the IAC Press release, the new venture will produce and distribute content for Web and TV across a variety of platforms around the world.

Some rumours sent Ben Silverman in the UK to head ITV but the idea of the British network hiring Ben Silverman to replace Michael Grade as executive chairman, after what The Hollywood Reporter calls a a "rocky two-year tenure" at NBC (1), seemed not buyable on your humble servant's side of the ocean. After all ITV has Harry Hill, Stephen Mulhern or Jeremy Kyle, so the Brit net doesn't need the man who greenlit My Own Worst Enemy, Knight Rider, Kings or The Philanthropist (2). Anyway, the departure of Silverman marks the end of an era, but not for the Peacock... for Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily.

Ben Silverman was a quasi-gimmick if not a running joke on Nikki Finke's blog. In February she wrote: « I often refer to Ben Silverman as "the gift that keeps on giving" because he provides me with so much material to deservedly humiliate him. And now he's living up to that moniker » (http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/teri/). Yesterday Nikki waved goodbye to the "gift" with an eight-part series called The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends (!) It includes a delicious Behind-the-scenes story about what she considers to be a smokescreen from NBCU (http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/behind-the-scenes-of-nbcus-lies-to-me-the-ben-silverman-experiment-ends-pt-4/) and a "poignant" travel down Memory Lane through links to all her chronicles of Ben Silverman's tribulations (http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/lets-travel-together-down-memory-lane-the-ben-silverman-experiment-ends-pt-7/) - You can almost hear Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were on this one (« Memories, Light The Corners Of My Mind... »)

Knowing Nikki Finke a (very) little, your servant bets this Ben Silverman Experiment Ends series is not a farewell to her "gift", and we can expect more NBCU stories (a Philanthropist Making of, anyone?) Seriously, it would be good to see NBC back proud as a peacock to the network's Must See TV days.

See also: http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/06/nikki-back-in-action-again.html

(1) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i52c27f7dd43be459388377a343d4394e
(2) Particularly when ITV's Autumn 2009 Drama lineup is far better than the BBC's offer.

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