Did Ben Silverman Curse NBC, Or Was It The Other Way Around?

With everyone fired at NBC besides Jay Leno, Ben Silverman, and a particularly bodacious NBC page named Honey, it's now time to examine Silverman's track record. There's just one thing: it used to be good!

Sure, there were plenty of naysayers when Silverman was first picked to head up NBC, but at least he had a track record than stands in stark relief to the current, much-canceled NBC slate. THR's James Hibberd spells it out:

What's odd about all this is NBC co-chair Ben Silverman's pre-NBC resume. People forget: He executive produces "The Office," "Ugly Betty" and "The Tudors." All are original, clever and successfully reinvented their genres. To whatever extent he was responsible for their creative success — and to whatever extent he is responsible for NBC's lack of success — his pre-NBC titles are worth remembering because they seem like projects descended from an opposing creative sensibility that one hopes can still make its mark on the network's slate.

While The Office and Ugly Betty were foreign imports, they were each handed to writers with unique, intelligent points-of-view (and the credits to back it up) like Greg Daniels and Silvio Horta. Instead of searching for that same talent to develop his current slate, Silverman picked properties unlikely to impress creatives (like Knight Rider), spent more time luring slumming film stars and product placement opportunities than true writer/creator talents, and stayed so hands-off with the ultimate creative results that he could fire the executives tasked with production. It's no wonder that Silverman is so keen on Celebrity Apprentice that he's expanded it to two-hour episodes; he'd make a great "pass the buck" project manager.