Don’t believe everything you hear today about NBC’s Ben Silverman. Silverman is safe at his job at NBC, my sources say, despite the agitations of those who don’t like him.
Silverman, whom I saw this week at the premiere of NBC’s “The Philanthropist,” has not been shunted aside. He was deeply involved with “The Philanthropist,” which scored mostly positive reviews and wound up winning its timeslot last night on NBC (though it fell from its lead-in).
Last night, he went to Washington, D.C., to a screening of it with the Creative Coalition. The series is international and about philanthropy. By the way, “America’s Got Talent,” on NBC, which preceded “The Philanthropist” also won its timeslot.
Silverman is back in New York for a couple days to talk to Tina Fey, sources tell me. He needs two more episodes of “30 Rock” next season. In exchange, Silverman is going to build a promotion for Fey and fellow NBC star Steve Carell for their comedy “Date Night,” coming later this fall. Hey, what if Michael and the gang from Dunder Mifflin get tickets to see Liz Lemon’s show? Hmmm…
I’m told that Silverman heads next to the U.K. — not to take a job with ITV as some suggested but to sign Emma Thompson up to write a series for NBC. A great actress, Thompson has also proven her writing chops with “Sense and Sensibility” and the Nanny McPhee movies. Maybe Silverman can talk her into starring in a series here.
Meanwhile, I did get to ask Silverman at the “Philanthropist” screening what was up for Amy Poehler in her “Parks and Recreation” series. He assured me that with the series returning this fall, the show would be “opened up” more to reflect Poehler’s comic gifts and move it away from being a spinoff from “The Office.”