According to most observers, yesterday's showdown of network execs at the annual Hollywood Radio & Television Society's Network Chiefs Summit was something of a bust. Several commentators put the blame at the feet of the moderator, director Barry Sonnenfeld, including the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes, who writes, "If only the lunch organizers had asked a journalist to moderate the lunch, it might have been fabulous. Instead, they asked a clown."
In between jokes about his penis, Sonnenfeld did take the execs to task for the networks' bargaining stance on residuals (though later in the day there was movement on that front). But he failed to inspire much in the way of barbed banter between the network chiefs, other than a surreal moment in which NBC wunderkind Ben Silverman claimed he's up all night dating other executives' children. Consider this a shot across the bow, network executives: If you stand in Silverman's way, he will not hesitate to go after your whole family. First he'll take your children on a date. Then he'll take your mother on a date. Finally, when you have no family left and nothing to live for, he'll show up at your front door bearing flowers, and he'll take you to the Olive Garden, and bewitch you with his blinding, devilish grin.