Fortune Magazine Piece on NBC's Ben Silverman

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October 27th, 2008

I just read through the Fortune profile on Ben Silverman and I have a lot of mixed emotions. Some of it's because things like this snippet truly are a mixed bag:

Nearly every new show he is putting on the air this fall owes as much to its ability to attract underwriting as it does to entertainment value. Two of NBC's big new fall dramas - Knight Rider and My Own Worst Enemy - feature Ford and General Motors products as de facto characters in the shows.

The method has not, so far, produced hits. For the first few weeks of the new TV season, NBC was stuck in third place and had no entertainment programs ranked in the top 20 most-watched shows. In the week ended Oct. 12, though, measured by shows with the most product placements, it had four of the top ten spots.

But some of it is the guy just comes off seeming like a disrespectful pompous ass in some ways (this is highlighted fairly well in the Fortune piece) but on the other hand, I love, love, love that he trash talks his competition so brazenly (at least brazen from the perspective of the fourth place network):

In a similar vein, when I asked him why he didn't seem concerned that NBC trailed its rivals in viewers, he explained that conventional ratings are obsolete: "The audience that watches my show goes to the theater and goes to dinner and owns DVRs. Their audience watches through an antenna."

Though he has apparently convinced neither advertisers nor the NBC PR team that conventional ratings are obsolete, the antenna quote was awesome!  Although as "Mikey" in the comments notes, Precisely which theater is the Deal Or No Deal audience going to?

And don't even get me started on America's Toughest Jobs...

Head on over and read the whole article.

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