×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TCA: “Coupling” creator has tongue-lashing for NBC, Zucker

POSTED BY MICHAEL SCHNEIDER

(Updated Friday morning with fresh comment from Steven Moffat, see below)

MoffatNever mind the bollocks, “Coupling” creator Steven Moffat (left) may have to explain a few things the next time he rings Ben Silverman.

Back in his pre-NBC days, Silverman helped Moffat bring the hit BBC comedy over to the States — where the U.S. “Coupling” promptly fizzled.

CouplingWhy did the Yankee “Coupling” fail? (For one thing, see the image to the right: It was promoted as a sex-drenched romp, rather than a plain ol’ funny show, as the BBC version was.) Moffat offered up his own hypothesis last week during BBC America’s TCA session (where he was promoting his new BBC series “Jekyll”):

“I can answer it with three letters: N-B-C. Very, very good writing team. Very, very good cast. The network fucked it up because they intervened endlessly. If you really want a job to work, don’t get Jeff Zucker’s team to come help you because they’re not funny …I can say that because I don’t care about working for NBC. The way in which NBC slagged off the creative team on American “Coupling” after its failure was disgraceful and traitorous. So I enjoy slagging them off. That’s the end of my career in L.A.”

Hmm… that’s what makes this part awkward: According to Silverman — now co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios — Moffat has been in contact about, yes, doing something for him at the Peacock!

“I find that a little hypocritical,” Silverman said. “(Moffat and “Coupling” exec producer Beryl Vertue) have called me a number of times about doing a show.”

The lesson?

“Never say never,” Silverman added.

— Michael Schneider

Friday morning update:

Just a few comments, if I may (and I’m assuming Ben’s been quoted correctly.)

1.  I have NEVER been contact with NBC about making a show.  Not once.

2.  I have NEVER said I won’t work for NBC, I just assumed they wouldn’t want me (and I wouldn’t blame them, really!)

3.  At the time of American Coupling, Ben Silverman was the producer of the show, not chairman of NBC – it was HIS work, and his team’s work that suffered so badly from network interference.  It was, in effect, Ben I was defending.  Oh, the irony!

4.  I know and like Ben, but I’ve seen him type on his Blackberry, and realise he might have been trying to say something else entirely.

Steven Moffat

More TV

  • NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New

    'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' Renewed at CBS

    CBS has renewed “NCIS: Los Angeles” for an 11th season, and “NCIS: New Orleans” for a sixth season. Both action drama are spinoffs of “NCIS,” which was renewed in early April. “NCIS: Los Angeles” follows a Naval Criminal Investigative Service division based in the City of Angels that is tasked with catching dangerous and elusive [...]

  • BRAZILIAN FLAGFRENCH OPEN TENNIS, PARIS, FRANCE

    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • TV Shows to Watch the Week

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of April 22, 2019: 'Gentleman Jack' and the NFL Draft

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Gentleman Jack” debuts on HBO, and “Kobra Kai” season two drops on YouTube [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, has died of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, Emma Stone, Edgar [...]

  • The Iron Throne, which has been

    'Game of Thrones': Six Books for Fans to Read

    As the final season of “Game of Thrones” draws to a close, we’ve found six best-selling books that keep the stories of Westeros and beyond alive. From the original novels that inspired the hit HBO show, to collectible tomes that highlight behind-the-scenes secrets, these books make a great addition to your bookcase, whether you’re a [...]

  • CBS Sports, WNBA Strike TV Deal

    CBS Sports, WNBA Strike TV Deal

    CBS Sports and the WNBA struck a new deal to televise some of the league’s games, widening exposure for professional women’s basketball in the U.S. Under terms of the deal, CBS Sports Network will broadcast 40 live WNBA games in primetime and on weekends, starting Saturday May 25 as the league’s 2019 season gets underway. [...]

  • Robin Roberts Omarosa

    Disney Makes Big Play to Stay in NFL's TV-Football Game

    Robin Roberts is moving this week from mornings on ABC to primetime. And while the shift is temporary, the business machinations behind it are likely to continue. Roberts, best known for her regular appearances on “Good Morning America,” will serve this Thursday as an important presence on one night of ABC’s multi-evening coverage of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content