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Network television is a fickle mistress, and no network knows it better than NBC. The last ten years have seen them plummet from being the network of Seinfeld, Friends and Law & Order to a withered husk of remakes and reality shows. While the new golden age of television marches forward on basic cable channels like AMC, FX and the Sci-Fi Channel, the peacock looks like it’s sitting this one out.

The Washington Post ran a column this week cataloging the network’s woes and, while the column never names him, most of the blame clearly falls at the feet of Ben Silverman, the wunderkind co-chairman who shepherded through most of the network’s recently-axed new programs.

We have to say, after a few years of coasting on nepotism and other people’s ideas, we’re happy Silverman’s finally paying the piper. It’s hard programming a network of the days of Netflix, YouTube and 500 channels, but anyone who thought the answer was dumbed-down versions of Columbian telenovelas deserves all the nasty columns he gets. There are enough good ideas kicking around Los Angeles to fill up ten network schedules. The troubling is tracking them all down, but that’s what executives are paid for, not for churning out buzzwords like “TV 2.0”.

Also, Knight Rider? Really?

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom