NBC head Kevin Reilly, who just weeks ago optimistically unveiled his network's fall slate to advertisers with the fighting, Muhammad-Aliesque couplet: "We've got the class and next season we're ready to add some mass," has been relieved of his Deal or No Deal-replicating duties once and for all, in a Memorial Day weekend surprise shakeup ordered from on high by NBC Universal's Peacock King, Jeff Zucker. Reports LA Weekly's Nikki Finke:
Prez Kevin Reilly has been fired. Yes, it's finally over for him. And everything's been resolved regarding that new contract Jeff Zucker gave him back in March. (My understanding is that when I reported that Reilly was being replaced, he didn't know anything about it. That Zucks!)
Meanwhile, NBC has clinched 36-year-old prolific producer Ben Silverman as its new showbiz honcho. He'll have a bigger title than Reilly did. It'll be NBC Universal West Coast chairman or something...
Reilly signed a three-year contract in March, meaning his departure will come with a generous compensatory package—yet that will likely be little consolation for the prestige programmer, who now finds himself victim of a classic Hollywood supplantation, having been replaced by a younger, sleeker model. Who could have known that the man responsible for one of NBC's few post-Friends sitcom successes, The Office, would one day unseat the very network head he obliged with a vanity cameo on that very series?