In Top of the Rock former NBC President of Entertainment Warren Littlefield discusses “the rise and fall of Must See TV.” If you’re a fan of Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Friends, ER, 3rd Rock from the Sun or Will & Grace then you are in for a real treat.
The book is told through snippets of interview conversations with actors, producer, directors, and executives who were involved with the creative processes on these Must See TV shows. The main focus is on Warren’s involvement with making the pilots for these shows and pushing for them to air on NBC. It’s fascinating to see how everything fell together in such precarious ways to form such hit TV shows.
There are great anecdotes throughout the book, and it gives a great glimpse into the executive world of television. (Fans of 30 Rock will see some familiar characters pop up.) Although, as they point out, much of the industry has changed since then, there is still a lot of information to be gleaned.
They also add their own critique of what the industry has become since the Must See TV era. Warren isn’t afraid to talk about what happened to NBC after he left and how they went from being on top to falling back down again.
Any fan of television would greatly enjoy this book.
- Things That Scared Television Executives, From Warren Littlefield’s ‘Top of the Rock’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Remembering The Era of “Must See TV” (franklinavenue.blogspot.com)
- Invention Out Of Necessity: Warren Littlefield LIVE on Big Think (bigthink.com)
- 8 stories from NBC’s days of ‘Must See TV’ (csmonitor.com)