Ben Silverman is the new co-chairman at NBC.


NBC, CITY ALL OVER! GO APE CRAZY! I’m obviously not the only person fascinated by the new regime at NBC under Ben Silverman, the new co-chairman brought in to reverse the course of the last-place network after Kevin Reilly’s four dismal years. The Los Angeles Times business section ran a lengthy analysis of Silverman’s first month in the corner office that began with the juicy tidbit that the first show Silverman bought after taking over was a Columbian telenovela whose title - Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso – translates as Without Breasts There Is No Paradise. It’s obviously party time at NBC.


“This will be either a spectacular success or a riveting failure," said one TV executive at a rival network who requested anonymity for fear of insulting Silverman. "There will be no middle ground”

Silverman, a night owl, has apparently shifted the traditional morning strategy meeting to 2:30 in the afternoon, and prefers to hold business meetings at restaurants in the meeting. He loves expensive sushi, bear hugs executives after a few drinks with an apparently sincere “I love you, man!” A longtime co-worker told the Times that “He's wanted this job at NBC since he was 12 years old.” In other words, NBC has turned into the longest episode of Entourage ever.

Silverman claims that his primary focus is on making NBC a presence in primetime again, with Thursday night – which the network once indisputably ruled – as his priority. “Making NBC the No. 1 network is what I'm focused on, and Thursday is very important," Silverman said. "I'm going to put a ton of energy into making that night work."

His gregariousness has at least a few people worried; within a week of taking over the new job, Silverman admitted that he was trying to court anyone who he thought might be able to do something positive for NBC’s rating, a disparate cast of characters that included director Judd Apatow and Rosie O’Donnell. A lawyer who spoke to the Times – also on conditions of anonymity, apparently, said that Silverman had apparently made so many handshake deals that "NBC now has enough shows to fill five schedules."

Office cast member and writer B.J. Novak has already says that he’ll be basing his character, Ryan the former temp and now Michael Scott’s boss, on Silverman’s intense meeting style and “complicated handshakes.” Another colleague said that he was initially taken aback by Silverman’s infamous eyebrows during his first late night meeting with him when Silverman was was still a producer. “He was staring at them all dinner long,” according to Howard Owens, who has worked for Silverman for nine years. “He thought Ben was the devil.”

“I'm not happy about being a Cylon at all," actor Michael Hogan, who plays Col. Tigh in Battlestar Galactica, told reporters at a digital press event organized by the Sci Fi Channel on Tuesday. "I'm not imagining that anyone who were picked to be Cylons are. The scripts that we have so far are great, but the only way that I can deal with it is as a human being, and so far that's (what my character) has had to do.” Wait till he hears that he’s also a Decepticon.