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Fred Silverman books ‘Library’

Exec turns to Japan for programming inspiration

Fred Silverman is once again turning to Japan for programming inspiration.

In addition to the numerous hits he’s developed, Silverman is well known as the network exec behind “Pink Lady and Jeff,” the short-lived 1980 variety skein toplined by the immensely popular Japanese singing duo Pink Lady.

Some 27 years later, Silverman, who recently announced he was beefing up his indie production company, has won the rights to another well-known Japanese pop culture product.

He is developing a full-length take on “Silent Library,” a comedy segment from Nippon TV’s “Downtown no gaki no tsukai ya arahende!!” Clips of the seg, created by Japanese comic Hitoshi Matsumoto, have become a hit on YouTube, with various segs generating more than 3 million hits.

Idea of the seg has a team of players performing pranks on one another in a library setting, all while remaining as quiet as possible. Silverman and his head of alternative programming, Randi Siegel, are keeping the core of the idea intact but adding in more competition elements.

“You can’t watch it and not laugh,” Silverman said. “It combines great fun and also a terrific competition.”

Producer also said that the only thing “Silent Library” and Pink Lady have in common is their Japanese roots. “They’re very different,” he laughed.

Silverman did the deal for “Silent Library” with Small World IFT, which reps Nippon and set up “Master of Champions” at ABC earlier this year.

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