On Monday morning, at around 9 a.m., the best show you’ll never see on NBC will go live inside the main ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel. That’s when Ben Silverman will face the TV Critics Association. I’ve heard he’s received lots of media training from grown-up Rebecca Marks to get ready for the meet. Co-chairman Marc Graboff will be there by Ben’s side — and hopefully kick him under the table whenever Silverman gets manic, which is often. By the way, boss Jeff Zucker won’t be anywhere near the hotel then or anytime during the TCA. Hey, don’t get me wrong: I think Silverman is the best thing to happen to TV journalists since Janet Jackson bared her boob. But Ben is a wind-up toy who just chatters until he can’t speak anymore because his foot in his mouth. In other words, Silverman and I were made for each other. I especially love the recent report how he’s so enthusiastic about the new job that he brings a set of chimes with him to meetings so he can play the three-note NBC jingle whenever a happy moment occurs. Click here.
Meanwhile, there’s something rather swell about Kevin Reilly giving the finger to Zucker and scampering to his old pal Peter Liguori at Fox. Think about it: Kevin’s job now will be so much easier. He has a boss who values him, he has a network with a humongous No. 1 show, and he simply has to grow some new hits in the spring behind American Idol to ensure that NBC continues to stay in 4th place through Fall 2008. While, back at NBC, Silverman has to more or less reinvent the wheel at the still broken network which doesn’t even have a Top 20 show. Meanwhile, Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes looks like a fool for not hiring either Liguori and Reilly at HBO. Really, guys, this stuff isn’t rocket science. Why do you get it wrong so often?