The newly anointed NBC Entertainment co-chair, Ben Silverman, is complaining that Nikki Finke ruined his big weekend when she blew out the blogsphere with her breaking news that Silverman would replace Kevin Reilly, and then said, “but as one source tells me, 36-year-old Ben ‘can barely manage his way out of a paper bag’ because of his extreme lifestyle, relentless ass kissing, and constant jetting around in his private plane.”
Finke’s missive sent NBC hacks into overdrive over the Memorial Day weekend.
Silverman said the weekend was “hell” and asserts he’s never flown in a private plane.
The news flashed across the entertainment industry like an atomic blast. One top television critic emailed me on that Friday afternoon, distraught. “Did you see the DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com report, that Zucker is getting rid of Kevin Reilly?” The critic fumed, “I so hope it’s not true. Zucker = Satan!”
And shame on all those news outlets – yeah, you know who you are — for failing to credit Finke for her scoop.
Silverman is rightly getting kudos for The Office and Ugly Betty at the moment. But abject failures like The Restaurant (and the cringe-worthy American Express product placement) and Coupling seem all but forgotten. Clearly, Silverman has learned a few lessons since then.
I interviewed Silverman way, way back in 2003. It was a fun interview. He had assumed a boarder (snow or skate) identity. A former Marvel VP, he lit up when talking about comics. “I want to be that superhero, to get the beautiful girl, to live a life without limits! Who wouldn’t!?”