Could things possibly be going any better for NBC wunderkind (and Vulture hero) Ben Silverman? Doubtful! He can't walk down the street without being offered a job, he just took a perfectly timed four-week vacation that completely absolves him of any responsibility for NBC Universal's second-quarter-profit woes, and now, he says, NBC's upfront ad sales for fall are even better than predicted: "You are seeing healthier numbers than I think we anticipated," he announced at an industry conference in Pasadena yesterday.
Some had predicted two-digit drops in the Peacock's ad rates, but Silverman says the reality is "not close to what was forecast." Also, NBC just closed a major deal with McDonald's (thanks, Tina!) to run ads during Jay Leno's upcoming prime-time show, and Silverman says he expects next year to be even better, thanks to the return of automakers, who've sat out this upfront season owing to the recession: "We're anticipating a rebound in 2010." Congratulations, Ben — we just hope all this good news doesn't affect your blues singing.