Nina Tassler kicks off Ben Silverman’s new reign as whipping boy

08.03.09 8 years ago


The one week anniversary of Ben Silverman’s departure from NBC coincided with the start of the network portion of the Television Critics Association press tour. Perfect timing, then, to begin the not-so-tacit mockery of the exiting exec.

Talking to critics on Monday (Aug. 3) morning, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was asked to reflect on Silverman’s parting of ways with NBC and the reasons behind it.

Presumably it was a question she’d be expecting.

“I’m really just a D-girl, so I wouldn’t comment,” Tassler said. She then winked, earning a rare round of applause from the assembled scribes.

Want a little context for Tassler’s zinger?

I refer you to a quote from Silverman’s notoriously blustery 2007 Esquire interview: 

“The industry hasn’t seen an executive like me in a long time,” Silverman said at the time. “Traditionally, development executives rise through a specific subsection of the TV business — prime time, network, scripted programming. They’re basically D-girls. That’s what [ABC Entertainment president] Steve McPherson is, that’s what [Fox Entertainment president] Kevin Reilly is. That’s bad vernacular, but they’re all D-girls.”

Another thing that Steve McPherson and Kevin Reilly now have in common? Their jobs. Ben Silverman? Not-so-much.

We still have at least three more non-NBC networks for somebody to bring up my all-time favorite Silverman quote (regarding the WGA strike threatening to cancel the Golden Globes):

“Sadly, it feels like the nerdiest, ugliest, meanest kids in the high school are trying to cancel the prom. But NBC wants to try to keep that prom alive.” 

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