The book author, Warren Littlefield, during a while, specially on Seinfeld, he was known to wider audiences by the portrayal of him made by Bob Balaban, as playing Russell Dalrymple, a character based upon him. The President of NBC Entertainment during the heyday of what was branded Must See TV, which included mega hits such as Friends, Seinfeld, ER, Will & Grace, Mad About You, Frasier or 3rd Rock from the Sun.
The book is a series of crossed interviews, ordered as to make for a big conversation about the last peak of NBC as number one broadcast network and the decisions that made it be number one.
Candidly exposing the ins and outs, the realtionships with talent, producers and other suits at the network, Mainly Don Ohlmeyer, as sort of a villain that maintained the ying-yang equilibrium but ultimately was a positive force, unlike the opinion placed upon Jeff Zucker, who is portrayed as the worst thing that happened to Television.
The book tells some behind the curtains scenes that TV fans would love to know; others are going back to well known stories, and others are just Littlefield catharsis of unresolved issues with colleagues or situations.
All in all the book is great. And if you can deal with those cathartic Littlefield moments, you will end up enjoying it a lot.
In my eyes, it was much more interesting when they went to tell those moments when you get to know the characters or the actors behind the characters; or even better the creators and their process. For instance, the interview to David Schwimmer is incredibly insightful, the sometimes under the belt shots to Ohlmeyer not so much.
The stories of how George Clooney rallied everybody at ER for the show to become a big ensemble turned into a family is a gem; the dismissal thrown at Sherry Stringfield seems unwarranted.
Those bits about when they found the perfect casting bring tons of light to the pages you read, but when they talk crap about someone you feel it´s not organic to what the book should be about.
Does all of this make the book unreadable? By no means! It´s very interesting; but it is indeed what makes me grade it 4 stars instead of 5. What makes it a B+ book instead of an A+ book.
What do you think? Will you read Top of the Rock, inside the rise and fall of Must See TV? Let me know in the comments section. Also, follow me o Twitter for more book reviews. New or old books! If you want me to review your book, contact me, I love reading.