Bobby Simic's Reviews > Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV

Top of the Rock by Warren Littlefield
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adultnonfiction

Warren Littlefield was NBC President of Entertainment during the network's most profitable period, aided mostly by its Thursday night "Must See TV," which included megahits like "Seinfeld," "Friends," and "ER." Through interviews from executives, writers, directors, and actors, this tells of Littlefeld and the network's ascension and eventual fall and how free-reign creativity and taking chances can be good for business.

This format of piecing interviews into a cohesive narrative always makes for an interesting read (see the phenomonal "Live From New York," which details "SNL's" history) and this book is no exception. It's a quick read, which is a strength, but I felt like it could have used more detail, especially towards the conclusion during the end of Littlefeld's tenure and the sinking of NBC. Some programs like "Seinfeld," and "Friends," could have even merited their own book. Here, they have just a few chapters.

But since it's essentially Littlefeld's story, it wouldn't make much sense to continue in depth to see why NBC is in such rough shape now. It's still a fascinating read, as creativity and commerce negotiate in such a high-risk field, by getting the backstory on some of the most popular programs in television history.

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