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Download Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV, by Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (947 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson Narrator: Bob Balaban Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, ER, Cheers, Law & Order, Will & Grace… Here is the funny, splashy, irresistible insiders’ account of the greatest era in television history - told by the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the network executives who made it happen… and watched it all fall apart.

Warren Littlefield was the NBC President of Entertainment who oversaw the Peacock Network’s rise from also-ran to a division that generated a billion dollars in profits. In this fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining oral history, Littlefield and NBC luminaries including Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Julianna Marguiles, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie, Debra Messing, Jack Welch, Jimmy Burrows, Helen Hunt, and Dick Wolf vividly recapture the incredible era of Must See TV.

From 1993 through 1998, NBC exploded every conventional notion of what a broadcast network could accomplish with the greatest prime-time line-up in television history. On Thursday nights, a cavalcade of groundbreaking comedies and dramas streamed into homes, attracting a staggering 75 million viewers and generating more revenue than all other six nights of programming combined. The road to success, however, was a rocky one. How do you turn a show likeSeinfeld, one of the lowest testing pilots of all time, into a hit when the network overlords are constantly warring, or worse, drowning in a bottle of vodka?

Top of the Rock is an addictively readable account of the risky business decisions, creative passion, and leaps of faith that made Must See TV possible. Chock full of delicious behind-the-scenes anecdotes that run the gamut from hilarious casting and programming ploys to petty jealousies and drug interventions, you’re in for a juicy, unputdownable read.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "To detail the exuberant 1990s’ events in the Peacock Network’s ascendancy (with such shows as Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, and ER) Littlefield and novelist Pearson interviewed more than 50 actors, writers, producers, agents and executives...Littlefield unleashed a ‘financial geyser’ at NBC, and these revelatory glimpses of those glory days make this one of the more entertaining books published about the television industry. Publishers Weekly

  • Littlefield's compulsively readable saga, Top of the Rock, is a great tale of folly. Dick Donahue for PW
  • "A fascinating oral history of shows like Seinfeld that defined an era. New York Daily News
  • "With entertaning insider's perspective, Littlefield transports readers back to a seemingly magical time when half the country would watch the same show. Kirkus

  • A chronicle of the last golden age of network television, [Top of the Rock] is the literary equivalent of a former NBC Thursday night lineup…Littlefield is the ultimate Must See insider. The mini-histories are a blast…full of fresh detail. The Hollywood Reporter
  • "The former president of entertainment at NBC chronicles his tenure with the peacock with a little help from his friends, including Jerry Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammar, Sean Hayes, and a few assorted suits who helped him schedule and nuture some of the most memorable shows on the tube, including Cheers, Friends, and Seinfeld. And as entertained as audiences were by those programs, the real show was happening behind the scenes, where larger-than-life egos clashed over details large and small. Readers interested in the history of the network or simply wanting to hear the dish, as well as others interested in breaking into the TV biz, will find much to enjoy in this charming reliving of Littlefield's glory days. Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa Johnson | 2/18/2014

    " This book was enjoyable for me because I was a huge fan of Must See TV in the 1990's. This book gives you an inside glimpse of how shows like "Seinfeld", "Friends", and "ER" became famous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ashley | 2/16/2014

    " This isn't really the full story of Must See TV -- more like what occurred during TV exec Warren Littlefield's time there from the 1970s until he was fired in 1998 -- but it's a fascinating insider's look into the creative processes, executive decisions, and behind the scenes drama of what was once the highest rated network on TV. Full review later. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Paul Matwychuk | 2/15/2014

    " Too much of a celebration of NBC's and Littlefield's achievements, not enough nitty-gritty creative details and not enough juicy anecdotes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Djm Meltzer | 2/13/2014

    " Mildly entertaining - if you are a fan of TV there is some good insight into the programming process and the hits of the 90s but not exactly a riveting book. "

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