NBC's Silverman: ABC Hated "Ugly Betty"
NBC's hard-partying Head of Entertainment Ben Silverman has caused controversy in Hollywood taking shots at his competitors in a recent Esquire article, including ABC President Steve McPherson, whom he called a "moron" who hated "Ugly Betty" and its star America Ferrera and had to be talked into ordering the show after 17 pitches.
Before he took over his executive position at NBC, Silverman was an independent producer responsible for US adaptation of a number of internationally successful reality shows and scripted series including "The Biggest Loser," "The Office" and the aforementioned "Ugly Betty."
Speaking of McPherson Silverman says: "I delivered him a huge hit that he didn't want: "Ugly Betty." He hated the show, he didn't want America Ferrera, he didn't understand why I pitched it to him seventeen times and wouldn't stop. Then it delivered despite that. And every time we would do well, he'd try to find some issue with it."
"I think he wishes he had been a producer. He's a sad man, like a miserable guy stuck operating as an executive. And it probably makes him nuts that this kid who's five years younger than him is producing hit shows and then goes and gets his job in an end run -- and a much bigger job than he has."
NBC's current schedule was to a great extent put together by Silverman's predecessor Kevin Reilly. One of Silverman's first influences, paranormal-themed reality show "Phenomenon" has already premiered, but is not doing too well, scoring a little over 6 million viewers.
Over the summer, Silverman ordered a new scripted version of the classic "Robinson Crusoe" tale; a US adaptation of the British comedy about Roman Catholic priests "Father Ted," adaptation of a Colombian telenovela "Without Breasts There Is No Paradise" about a flat-chested girl who becomes a hooker to pay for a boob job and "American Gladiators" reality program hosted by Hulk Hogan.
Following the publication of the article, a surprised Silverman said he made the offensive comments off the record and the journalist was "provoking" him.
You can read the full Esquire article by clicking HERE.