Ben Silverman, chief of NBC Entertainment, is an unconventional, globe-trotting figure who isn't afraid to put brands in TV programming. Hired for his independent streak, Silverman is
stunning Hollywood's old guard with the most overtly commercial approach that broadcast TV has ever seen.
For instance, "Knight Rider" and "My Own Worst Enemy" feature Ford and
General Motors products as de facto characters in the shows. And from Oct. 6-12, NBC took four of the top 10 spots in the list of shows with the most product placements.
But so far the method has not produced ratings hits. In response, Silverman says that conventional ratings are obsolete: "The audience that watches my show goes to the theater and goes to dinner and owns DVRs. The audience [at rival networks] watches through an antenna."