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James Hibberd

Burn Off: ‘Phenomenon’ Debuts Tonight; What Makes a Hit

October 24, 2007 5:26 PM

NBC hopes its new reality series “Phenomenon” will mesmerize viewers tonight. The first show announced by NBC Entertainment Co-Chair Ben Silverman to hit the air, “Phenomenon” has the high-wire distinction of being a live series premiere -- so nobody has, in effect, seen the show outside of rehearsals (there have been other instances of live prime-time series premieres, such as “Dancing With the Stars,” but it’s uncommon for a show to hit the air sight unseen).

Also: Network executives are talking about USA Today’s look at all the factors influencing what makes a hit this season … More free medical advice from experts who know nothing about you: “Dr. Phil” spinoff “The Doctors” cleared in half of U.S. markets … Ray Richmond’s take on NBC’s green programming initiative -- ex: “The 26 models of ‘Deal or No Deal’ will wear dresses made from Army surplus parachutes. (It would be best not to think about why those parachutes were declared surplus.)”


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