I love Ben Silverman because he’s the gift that keeps on giving me material. Another day, so another antic. His latest took place at Tuesday’s one-day retreat in Santa Monica at Shutters On The Beach for NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios personnel. Ben and co-chairman Marc Graboff were leading the so-called “brainstorming”. (Hey, stop laughing.) Silverman moderated one panel about how TV and the Internet can work together featuring execs from MySpace, ACT! videogames division, and MSN. But Ben also planned a little motivational stunt. Before the confab, he had made NBC peacock tattoos (the temporary peel-off kind), and asked certain NBC employees to place them on their bodies. Graboff put one on his chest. Flackmeister Rebecca Marks put one on her lower ankle. And two women lifted their T-shirts and put them in the small of their backs. (No doubt taking literally the exec’s mantra that he’s “just trying to bring sexy back” to the fourth-place network.) No one knew about any of this until the end of the conference when Ben asked everyone to show their NBC spirit — and the select group unveiled their peacock tattoos. (I’m told some peons can’t get the peacocks to peel off. So now they can’t be buried in Jewish cemeteries.) I sure hope these gimmicks — remember the set of chimes he brought to meetings to play the three-note NBC jingle whenever a happy moment occured? — help NBC’s primetime prospects. So far his other stunts for fall include hiring gay-baiter Isaiah Washington on Bionic Woman, getting Jerry Seinfeld on 30 Rock, and programming the week of “Going Green”. Bosses Jeff Zucker and Jeffrey Immelt must be proud like peacocks.
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