Cancel-Happy Ben Silverman Uses Pope As Human ShieldBefore the premiere of this fall season, NBC head Ben Silverman liked to brag about the extensive movie star outreach he'd done to populate his shows: Selma Blair in Kath & Kim! Christian Slater in My Own Worst Enemy! Sadly, Kath was poorly received, Enemy has just been axed (alongside another show called something like Project Lipstick, we think?), and the rest of the fall lineup is skidding out like Silverman's Knight Rider retread. You might imagine, with all this broadcast carnage, that some of it might be Silverman's fault. Nuh-unh! protests Page Six:
NBC Entertainment co-chair Ben Silverman isn't going to get all the blame for the network's lackluster fall schedule. With yesterday's cancellation of two NBC shows produced by sister company Universal - "Lipstick Jungle," which starred Brooke Shields, and "My Own Worst Enemy," which featured Christian Slater -culpability falls on Universal Media Studio President Katherine Pope, who oversaw both doomed series. "They call her the black widow. Every program she touches turns to death," growled our source. "She is on very thin ice." Pope also produced flash-in-the-pan series "Bionic Woman." Of course, none of NBC's other new shows - "Knight Rider," "Kath & Kim" and "Crusoe" - has become a hit, either. But Silverman, 37, has been able to cut costs at the network and seems to be satisfying his bosses, particularly NBC chairman Jeff Zucker.
If this "it's her fault, not Ben's fault" maneuver seems familiar, it's because people were blaming his EVP Teri Weinberg for NBC's problems a mere two months ago. How can Silverman be responsible for hiring people who are bad at their jobs, or be expected to actually watch and oversee the shows the network creates? He's busy throwin' back brewskis with Seacrest, people! Quit harshin' his buzz!