Whether it's his tendency to casually insult other executives, his "totally sick" parties, or his precocious ascension from independent producer to network boss, NBC President Ben Silverman has acquired a devoted posse of friends—and an ample group of enemies. Esquire profiles the brash 37-year-old, self-styled the "luckiest young Jew in America," charged with turning around the doggedly last-place network.
Silverman made his name as a William Morris agent Americanizing foreign formats like Survivor, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and The Office. "In my almost 30 years of doing this, Ben is one of the smartest guys I've seen—a great salesman, with a great eye for material and an entrepreneurial mind," gushes Morris CEO Jim Wyatt. Adds NBC chief Jeff Zucker, "And Ben woke up on the sunny side of the street. He believes that good things will happen. We need it."