In Depth

Silverman on the Attack in Esquire Interview

NBC Co-Head of Entertainment Ben Silverman has a reputation as a party animal, but he is also on the offensive, calling out his former boss, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson, as well as Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly in an interview with Esquire magazine.

“Traditionally, development executives rise through a specific subsection of the TV business—prime time, network, scripted programming. They’re basically D-girls,” Mr. Silverman told Esquire.

“That’s what Steve McPherson is, that’s what Kevin Reilly is. That’s bad vernacular, but they’re all D-girls,” Mr. Silverman is quoted as saying.

He’s using D-girl as a derogatory term for an attractive low-level female executive with little power.

The interview was posted on Esquire’s Web site today and is appearing in the magazine’s December issue, due on newsstands Nov. 17.

Mr. Silverman continued to rain insults on his former boss at ABC, Mr. McPherson, calling him a “moron” in the interview.

“I delivered him a huge hit that he didn’t want: ‘Ugly Betty.’ He hated the show, he didn’t want America Ferrera, he didn’t understand why I pitched it to him 17 times and wouldn’t stop,” Mr. Silverman said in the magazine.

“[Mr. McPherson] is a sad man, like a miserable guy stuck operating as an executive,” he continued.

Both Mr. McPherson and Mr. Reilly declined to comment on Mr. Silverman’s comments.

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Comments 15

Mason Barge

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Fast affiliate ratings for last night:

Total Viewers:

ABC - 15.93 million
CBS - 11.52
Fox - 6.40
NBC - 6.32

'Nuff said.

Leland

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I agree with the first comment.

NBC should be asking for the guy's resignation.

Kenny Tsai

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Right on point, Mason. Anyone wondering why NBC is in 4th place should find the answer in that interview. But to drive the point home,


On that same night, at 8 p.m:

NBC- Phenomenon (6.1 mil)
CW- Top Model (5.07 mil)

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But you know, all of these guys, all the ones mentioned and all of their contemporaries and dopplegangers ... they all just don't know when to shut up.

McPherson said some very stupid things about Silverman in public, too, I think at the last TCA. It's not a matter of who's network is doing better. It's about lack of tact and enormous egos driving bad behavior and really stupid comments.

I don't care what the ratings are, if I'm a board member of GE or Disney or Viacom or Newscorp and I hear my network head spewing ridiculous crap like this in public, I'm getting on the phone with other board members to talk about reigning him in. Immediately.

And giving him one more chance. And just one.

There are a lot of people out there who can pick hits. It's not rocket science. This idea that it's this rare gift is just a giant lie.

Lauren

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What an asshole. It was a sad day when Kevin Reilly left NBC.

Michael

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Talk about burning a bridge. In this business, you never know who you'll be working for next.

Carl LaFong

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Note that most of NBCs current schedule was crafted by Kevin Reilly.

But "Phenomenon" is completely Silverman's fault.

tony almonte

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That's a mighty confident guy there that Ben Silverman. I am sure he has made his money but I hope for his sake, he hasn't spent it. Nobody likes an a-hole and its gonna be a hard fall. Everyone of these guys gets a bullet in the end and I would guess there will be many who cheer when his day comes. A-hole indeed.

TV Observer

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Can the rehab stay and apology tour be far behind?

In addition to his pointless, tactless attacks, Silverman has convinced himself that he is somehow less of a suit than his counterparts, as if he personally has the ability to write or run a scripted show himself.

al fonseca

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is this the same guy who brought us "Biggest Loser"? How proud he has become. Ugh. What a dick.

network

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The "boy geniuses" who created South Park pulled a similar foot-in-mouth act at Comedy Central, when they though that because they created a hit show, they were capable of running the Channel.
Mr Silverman will be a suoer nova-like flash in the pan. No substance. No business acumen. No people skills. And no memory.
Mcpherson will dance on your professional grave

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