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Hell no, we won’t show Leno

NBC’s prime time schedule has been a disaster for some time now.

It’s all the fault of their incompetent co-chairman, Ben Silverman.

While formerly-solid series like “Heroes” circle the drain and new efforts like “Kath and Kim” outright suck, Silverman has adeptly managed to keep his job with corporate-politics tactics like throwing subordinates under the bus.

Witness this Page Six account where he blames all the network’s problems on someone else:

NBC Entertainment co-chair Ben Silverman isn’t going to get all the blame for the network’s lackluster fall schedule.

With yesterday’s cancellation of two NBC shows produced by sister company Universal – “Lipstick Jungle,” which starred Brooke Shields, and “My Own Worst Enemy,” which featured Christian Slater -culpability falls on Universal Media Studio President Katherine Pope, who oversaw both doomed series.

Pope, an original producer on “Heroes,” was promoted to the top studio job because of the success of that NBC show.

Almost one year later, with ratings for “Heroes” slipping, she isn’t working out the way NBC planned. Top network brass is now overseeing production of the series in an attempt to save it.

“They call her the black widow. Every program she touches turns to death,” growled our source. “She is on very thin ice.” Pope also produced flash-in-the-pan series “Bionic Woman.”

Another network insider told Page Six, “There are internal concerns that she took her eye off the ball.” A rep for Pope at Universal had no comment.

Of course, none of NBC’s other new shows – “Knight Rider,” “Kath & Kim” and “Crusoe” – has become a hit, either. But Silverman, 37, has been able to cut costs at the network and seems to be satisfying his bosses, particularly NBC chairman Jeff Zucker.

In fact, one network insider actually praised Silverman, saying, “The company is very happy with Ben. He is deep in negotiations to re-up his contract with NBC, and he has the network up 50 percent profit from year to year.”

TV analysts say ratings have become less important as the viewing audience has scattered to proliferating cable channels. Silverman told The Post last summer: “We’re managing for margins and not for ratings.”

Whatever he is managing for, the result is terrible television.


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