This Is Why He’s Hot
July 17, 2007 2:28 PM
Ben Silverman’s cell phone is ringing: This is why I’m hot! This is why I’m hot! His ringtone is rapper Mims’ hit song of the same title. Silverman admits to sometimes busting into a little dance when it rings.
Holding court with a gaggle of TV critics, Silverman has firmly won over most press tour participants. They flock to him whenever he stops moving, his rapid patter fueled by towering cups of Starbucks that assistants hand him.
“I went out with [“Law & Order” producer] Dick Wolf last night, drank a little bit too much,” he confesses, and critics nod and smile—Silverman likes to party, and we like that about him.
Critics ask about his childhood. “Television was my babysitter,” Silverman says. His parents divorced when he was four, and he grew up a latch-key kid, watching “I Love Lucy” reruns and NBC’s 1980s staples like “St. Elsewhere.”
As critics throw out a variety of topics, Silverman manages the tricky social art of never disagreeing with a critic—he always seems to be on the exact same page—yet still gets across his very specific point of view.
“Believe in your concept, believe in your finish line, and see things through,” he advises.
His shift from hit producer to NBC executive, he says, has resulted in a bevy of calls from producers from around the world whose TV series formats he pursued as the head of Reveille. “I get calls now that are like, ‘What about that [show] you were chasing?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but now I’m the buyer.’”
This is why I’m hot! This is why I’m hot!