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Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TVby Warren Littlefield
Synopses & Reviews
Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, ER, Cheers, Law & Order, Will & Grace…Here is the funny, splashy, irresistible insiders’ account of the greatest era in television history — told by the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the network executives who made it happen…and watched it all fall apart.
Warren Littlefield was the NBC President of Entertainment who oversaw the Peacock Network’s rise from also-ran to a division that generated a billion dollars in profits. In this fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining oral history, Littlefield and NBC luminaries including Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Julianna Marguiles, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie, Debra Messing, Jack Welch, Jimmy Burrows, Helen Hunt, and Dick Wolf vividly recapture the incredible era of Must See TV.
From 1993 through 1998, NBC exploded every conventional notion of what a broadcast network could accomplish with the greatest prime-time line-up in television history. On Thursday nights, a cavalcade of groundbreaking comedies and dramas streamed into homes, attracting a staggering 75 million viewers and generating more revenue than all other six nights of programming combined. The road to success, however, was a rocky one. How do you turn a show like Seinfeld, one of the lowest testing pilots of all time, into a hit when the network overlords are constantly warring, or worse, drowning in a bottle of vodka?
Top of the Rock is an addictively readable account of the risky business decisions, creative passion, and leaps of faith that made Must See TV possible. Chock full of delicious behind-the-scenes anecdotes that run the gamut from hilarious casting and programming ploys to petty jealousies and drug interventions, you’re in for a juicy, unputdownable read.
Top of the Rock is an absorbing insiders’ account of an incredible time and place in television history: the years when Must See TV—led by Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, ER, and Law & Order—made NBC an unstoppable success. Here the story is vividly told through the words of the actors, writers, producers, creators, and network executives who helped the Peacock rise to its greatest heights—and then saw it all fall apart.
Under the supervision of President of Entertainment Warren Littlefield, NBC went from being an also-ran, losing millions of dollars in failed shows, to the number one station, generating billions of dollars in profit. At its height, the Thursday night lineup alone brought in more revenue than the other six nights of programming combined. Top of the Rock dishes out behind-the-scenes stories from all the biggest shows, revealing the highly risky business decisions, creative passion, and blind leaps of faith that made Must See TV possible.
Jerry Seinfeld | Jason Alexander | Kelsey Grammer | Sean Hayes | Helen Hunt | Lisa Kudrow | Eriq La Salle | Matt LeBlanc | John Lithgow | Julianna Margulies | Eric McCormack | Debra Messing | Megan Mullally | David Hyde Pierce | Paul Reiser | Noah Wyle | and more
About the Author
WARREN LITTLEFIELD is the former NBC president of entertainment. Previous to that, he was the NBC comedy executive who developed such hit shows as The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He currently runs his own television production company.
T. R. PEARSON is the author of fourteen novels, including A Short History of a Small Place, and a dozen screenplays.
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