Thursday, December 11, 2008
This hasn’t been a good year for inept executives, Isaiah Thomas and Matt Millen were both axed and George Bush is down to his last month in office. With the three worst executives in America all gone, there is a scrabble to claim the top spot. Their have been plenty of contenders like the big three auto execs taking private jets to ask for millions of taxpayer dollars and the Illinois governor trying to profit from naming Barack Obama’s replacement in the Senate. But the clear choice for the next generation of inept executive top moron clearly goes to Ben Silverman, head of NBC’s entertainment division, with his recent announcement that 10:00 on the Peacock network would be a Jay Leno only time zone.
One horrible decision doesn’t shoot you to the top of the inept list and Silverman has yet to draft three straight receivers, but he has steadily sunk NBC so far down, it will soon rival The CW. You knew he was destine for most inept executive title with his very first move at the head of NBC when he brought The Apprentice back to life and added D-List celebrities to the mix because lack of no name star power was everyone decided to stop watching in the first place.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg as Silverman was also the guy who thought not making pilots wouldn’t hurt new shows which has led to My Own Worst Enemy (already canceled), Crusoe (all but canceled) and Kath & Kim (should be canceled). But then again pilots even when he sees them, like the backdoor pilot of the Knight Rider movie, which was universally panned by critics and viewers alike, still get ordered to series (and then has the episode number cut). And this was after the reinvention of Bionic Woman tanked a year early. Not to mention American Gladiators which lost it’s nostalgia after two episodes. Should we expect The New A-Team on the 2009 schedule? Or should I not give him an idea?
Other brainchildren from Silverman were to cancel Journeyman but brought back Lipstick Jungle for a second season (only to give it the ax a couple weeks in), thinking Heroes was NBC’s own Lost only to find it getting doubled in the ratings by Two and a Half Men, and maybe his most egregious move: thinking Jimmy Fallon was funny enough to give his own talk show. Let us not forget this is also the guy that brought us Clash of the Choirs, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Celebrity Family Feud, The Baby Borrowers, Celebrity Circus, Phenomenon and brought Quaterlife from the computer monitor to the television screen. As well as the upcoming Momma’s Boy a dating show where a mom has a hand in which person their child dates. Wait, did he still that idea from I Love New York?
And not only is Silverman a complete moron, the Jay Leno move shows that he is also lazy giving him five less hours of television to fill each week. Keep in mind NBC already has one whole night already blocked out for programming thanks to Sunday Night Football. Of course this is a guy who thought it was time to take vacation to the Beijing Olympics just before the new season launched. This begs the question, with the Jay Leno 10:00 hour taken up, how long until Silverman announces that 9:00 is a Law and Order only hour? Or should I not give him an idea?
Naturally the Leno deal is a bad idea to end all bad ideas. Early talk shows have failed time after time and as seen by Rosie’s recent variety debacle, people don’t want that kind of stuff in prime time. And if Leno happens to be successful, and even if he isn’t, it will undermine the three other talk shows on NBC, which will be more than the other networks combined. Who will get the top names when the switch accuser, Leno or Conan? This may make the Leno/Letterman spat look cordial. Seriously, the NBC corporate has to be the most entertaining event ever.
Of course NBC is getting what it deserves. This is what is going to happen when you hire someone who’s “hits” only include stealing already successful shows from countries like The Office, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Ugly Betty. I would think that the five less hours would likely spell the death nail for Friday Night Lights (keep in mind his second order of business was to stop airing FNL reruns that summer) but with Silverman’s laziness he most likely won’t cancel it as long as DirecTV still foots half the bill.
So congratulations Ben Silverman, you are a first ballot Moron Hall of Fame. If you are lucky Ken Lay will induct you. And if we are lucky you will be eligible for the Class of 2014.