And so the games begin.
Those early alarm buzzes heard in bedrooms across Hollywood this morning? Blame it on hundreds of NBC and CBS execs stumbling to their phone or fax machine, nervously waiting for results from last night’s “Survivor” vs. “Friends” thriller.
As the Great Thursday Battle of 2001 got under way this week, Peacock and Eye execs were in spin overdrive. The nets opted to downplay their own potential performance and overhype the competish: The prediction in Burbank? Upstart phenom “Survivor” will win, hands down. The take at Television City? Viewers still like their “Friends.”
Both sides kept it friendly, however. CBS’ Leslie Moonves and NBC’s Jeff Zucker shared a phone conversation Thursday before the showdown began.
The mood wasn’t nearly as competitive at the shows themselves. “Survivor” exec producer Mark Burnett and co-exec producer Craig Piligian sent over a pack of “buffs” — those “Survivor” scarves the participants sport throughout the show — to the “Friends” production office.
Burnett and Piligian attached a note to the gift: “Even though the media is pitting us against each other, we want you to know that we love your show … We are certainly hoping there is room for two good shows on Thursdays at 8.”