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Let History Be the Judge of Ben Silverman, Says Ben Silverman

The spotty record of NBC wunderkind (and towel-wearing bluesman) Ben Silverman has not gone unnoticed by the New York Times! In yesterday's "Sunday Business," the Gray Lady enumerates the failures of the Peacock's fun-loving co-chairman, and even includes a chart-based analysis of his shows' cancellation rate (what a novel idea!). The text (under the headline "NBC Hired a Hit Maker. It's Still Waiting.") is mostly a recap, though Bill Carter does solicit some new faint praise from Jeff Zucker ("If we weren't supportive of Ben, he wouldn't be here") and a few typically sterling quotes from Silverman himself — including this one:

"I'd like to think time will tell," he said, "because you can't really judge your programming skills in a strike-shortened, 18-month period."


That's right, history and history alone will judge Ben Silverman's skills as a network programmer — give the guy a few more seasons! And a year's distance is not nearly large enough to grasp the genius of his remade American Gladiators (which, as far as we know, was not affected by the writers' strike). Best of all, like Will Ferrell (as George W. Bush) said on Silverman's own network this weekend, "History takes forever."

NBC Hired a Hit Maker. It’s Still Waiting. [NYT]