"Be A Man," Abc's Entertainment Chief Tells Nbc's
In a verbal assault rarely -- if ever -- unleashed by a top executive of one network against another, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson blasted the decision by NBC's top brass to replace NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly with Ben Silverman, then declare that Reilly was "not fired." McPherson and Reilly are regarded as longtime friends, dating back to college days, something that McPherson himself alluded to during his eruption while meeting with a group of members of the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills on Wednesday. "When someone stabs your best friend in the back, you don't buy it," McPherson remarked. He criticized reporters for failing to challenge Silverman's refusal to comment on Reilly's ouster. "I just got here, Silverman had said when asked whether it was good corporate policy to fire Reilly just weeks after signing him to a new deal. "The idea you would be able to say 'I just got here?' Be a man," McPherson said. "He didn't know what went on? Was he living in a cave?" Silverman's admitted decision to talk to Isaiah Washington about appearing in Bionic Woman while he was still under contract to appear in Grey's Anatomy showed that Silverman is "either clueless or stupid," McPherson continued, then laid into the press for failing to challenge Silverman on that decision. "You guys let him off the hook, but that's your prerogative," he said icily. Earlier, McPherson announced that Harold Perrineau will be returning to the cast of Lost and that the planned sitcom Caveman, based on the TV commercials, is being overhauled.