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Old 01-07-2016, 07:17 AM   #1
WatcherofOldTV
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Default Why does Silverman get so much flack for his NBC tenure?

Yes, there were a lot of flops. Supertrain is probably the biggest one in terms of money. But, he came into a situation which was really not for one person to handle. It appears to me that he had put a lot of good things in place to make Grant Tinker look like a genius.

I.E. Brought back the peacock (thank heavens!), hired Brandon Tartikoff who got Warren Littlefield (later NBC Executive of Seinfeld and the 90's Thursday night lineup). Also, Silverman got an agreement for Cheers, the proper management to get the NBC news back into shape, developed Facts of Life, Different Strokes, Hill Street Blues, Gimme a Break.

Seems like Silverman was the person to put the groundwork into place for a long run of success through most of the 80s and 90s. Family Ties was also his idea (indirectly) through a friend of his at MTM from the CBS days. Can't say he had nothing to do with it.

So, why was Fred Silverman said to have "destroyed" NBC? Frankly, if he had not been there, would Tinker have been any better? I always felt like he was able to take advantage of a situation to make it look like he did all the work, when really, he didn't do much. Sort of like Joe Torre with the Yankees.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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I too think Silverman put NBC on the right track. Problem was people expected him to fix NBC instantly based on his past experiences at ABC and CBS, so the criticism piled on because he couldn't fix NBC fast enough.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:54 PM   #3
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Your right in asking the question.
''Supertrain'' was already commissioned & going into early production,when he
took control of NBC in the summer of 1978. ''Supertrain'' is not Silverman's
folly.Silverman moved the premier of''Supertrain''up to mid-season 78-79,from
its original planned fall '79 debut, but the show was not his idea.
Diff'rent Strokes,Little House on the Prairie,&the movie of the week was NBC'S
best programing around Feb and March 1979 though.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkripper001
Your right in asking the question.
''Supertrain'' was already commissioned & going into early production,when he
took control of NBC in the summer of 1978. ''Supertrain'' is not Silverman's
folly.Silverman moved the premier of''Supertrain''up to mid-season 78-79,from
its original planned fall '79 debut, but the show was not his idea.
Diff'rent Strokes,Little House on the Prairie,&the movie of the week was NBC'S
best programing around Feb and March 1979 though.
Not quite...according to his interview with Archive of American Television, the idea for the show was pitched to him and he wanted to do "Hitchcock on a train". But, according to Silverman, the guy running the show felt it was best to just throw money at it and hope for the best.

Grant Tinker got a lot of credit for Silverman's work. But, really, as Silverman said, when Tinker got in the door, the network was only 2 or 3 shows away from success and Silverman knew it. Tinker didn't feel that the network was going to make it but did it for the money, basically. He was lucky that he got there with good people and left when he figured it was best to leave when the gettin' was good. He wasn't stupid enough to go into a bad situation with no hope. Tinker said in his interview with AoAT, that it was bad when he got there but that he felt he knew the people enough beforehand to make it happen. Basically, he got lucky...Silverman was scrappy and made Tinker's life easy.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:07 AM   #5
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Personally, I'm glad that his tenure lasted so brief, because, IMHO, he screwed over one too many game shows during his tenures as a network executive. In fact, I place the blame squarely on his shoulders for the near extinction of daytime network game shows. If it was up to me, I'd personally see to it that he'd never work in Hollywood again, I hate him that badly.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glickmam
Personally, I'm glad that his tenure lasted so brief, because, IMHO, he screwed over one too many game shows during his tenures as a network executive. In fact, I place the blame squarely on his shoulders for the near extinction of daytime network game shows. If it was up to me, I'd personally see to it that he'd never work in Hollywood again, I hate him that badly.
I find it ironic that with the reported hate for game shows Silverman had, all the networks quit wiping them during his tenure over each network.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:29 AM   #7
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All I know is that compared to Jeff Zucker, Fred Silverman looks like a darn genius!

I think many of the presidents of NBC that came after him didn't know how to develop long-lasting shows. I mean look at how badly NBC tanked after the 90's ended; all of those shows ended and NBC never bothered developing new hits to replace them! It took years for them to find a way out of fourth place!
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:36 PM   #8
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The person who started this discussion should have been more specific while naming it since at least one other famous person with the name "Silverman" got a lot of criticism for his tenure at NBC (the one I was thinking of was named Ben Silverman).
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:33 PM   #9
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When was Silverman head at NBC?
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mets82
When was Silverman head at NBC?
'78 to '81
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:22 PM   #11
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From the NBC schedules I have seen on Wikipedia, during Silverman tenure, I didn't see too many shows that I would watch except Little House, Facts of Life and Different Strokes.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:15 AM   #12
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I am sure many folks who liked the Smurfs would be glad to know that the person named Fred Silverman being discussed here had the idea to give them a TV series of their very own (they were originally supporting characters for a series of books about two characters named Johan and Peewit).
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mets82
From the NBC schedules I have seen on Wikipedia, during Silverman tenure, I didn't see too many shows that I would watch except Little House, Facts of Life and Different Strokes.
It took him a while to right the ship, but he was putting NBC in the right direction.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario500
The person who started this discussion should have been more specific while naming it since at least one other famous person with the name "Silverman" got a lot of criticism for his tenure at NBC (the one I was thinking of was named Ben Silverman).
The OP doesn't need to clarify. Most people associate the failed NBC tenure with Fred, not Ben Silverman. NBC had some issues during Ben's run, but that still doesn't compare as much to the late-70s.

Being a game show fan, I dislike what Fred did to so many daytime games, but others bring up good points about him setting the groundwork for the 80s success stories. If he stayed until about 1984, he might be more highly revered for turning around NBC.

For what its worth, Fred had a lot more success with developing the Perry Mason TV movies, Matlock and In the Heat of the Night, among other shows during the mid-80s.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:47 PM   #15
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he almost canceled Wheel Of Fortune: in fact it was carried through to the point of Wheel taping a series finale for August 1 and Charlie O Donnell leaving the show and them bringing in Jack Clark
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