I am a big fan of great comedy and grew up watching many of the hit shows that Warren Littlefield was responsible for on NBC during the 80s and 90s. Top of the Rock: The Rise and Fall of Must See TV is a great oral history from the executives, directors, producers and actors who were involved in one of the greatest eras in television history. This book is fast, entertaining read.
Littlefield talks about the behind-the-scenes developments of great shows: Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, ER and Will & Grace. I find it fascinating for him to describe the situation of NBC in the early 80s; it’s not that different from NBC’s current predicament. Littlefield mentions several times that most of his success came from allowing creative people to be creative and trusting them. What a concept? If creativity and innovation are respected, success is sure to follow. It is kind of odd to think these shows would not even be made in today’s market.
I found this book interesting and a great read for anyone who loves television and pop culture. It was interesting to get an insider’s view on how certain shows get on the air. Confession: the shows in this book that aired in the 80s I watched as reruns!