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Ben Silverman

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‘Us Weekly’: Keeping ‘OK!’ Honest

MEDIA • NBC golden boy Ben Silverman sells his production company, Reveille, to Rupert Murdoch's daughter, Elizabeth. [LAT] • CNN producer Chez Pazienza is forced to pack his bags after blogging for the Huffington Post. [TVNewser/Mediabistro] • Us Weekly reports that OK! magazine "sensationalized" Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane's battle with cancer in a cover story. (Actually, he only had some malignant cells on his lip frozen off in a doctor's office.) "This isn't the first time OK! has been wrong," they note. But is Us really crusading against yellow journalism? Or are they just annoyed they didn't get the scoop? [Us Weekly]

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NBC Lands Another Writerless Victory With ‘American Gladiators’

After a failed start with an unpopular batch of new shows, and an ongoing WGA strike that, in all likelihood, will never be resolved, it looked as though all was lost for the networks — until Sunday night when NBC's writerless American Gladiators reboot became the highest-rated show of the new season!

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Padma Leaves a Bad Taste in Fiamma's Mouth

Padma
Manhattan Moms, an East Coast equivalent of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County, will premiere early next year. A lot of the city's foremost graffiti artists congregated for a book party at Auto in the meatpacking district. Billy Joel is in talks with the Mets to perform a bunch of gigs at Shea Stadium. George Steinbrenner will have a high school named after him in Tampa. Padma Lakshmi was rude to the staff at Soho eatery Fiamma, but Martha Stewart overtipped and was nice. CNN gave out an award to someone for forcing "one of the world's largest oil corporations to pay more than $6 billion to clean up toxic waste in the Amazon rain forest," but didn't name Chevron as the company because they are an advertiser.

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Lies and the Lying Arabs Who Tell Them

MEDIAThe New Republic pulled back on its long-embattled "Baghdad Diarist" series, admitting they could no longer stand behind the author, an army private serving in Iraq. Meanwhile, The National Review suffered its own Middle Eastern credibility scandal and struck back in a novel way: "As one of our sources put it: 'The Arab tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro-American Lebanese Christians as much as it is with the likes of Hamas.'" Yikes. [NYT Mixed Media/Portfolio] • Big layoffs ahead at NBC News? "There are going to be firings very soon — everybody is terrified," according to a "former network insider," who claims tens of millions in cuts will happen in the next two weeks. [Jossip] • New NBC programming honcho Ben Silverman is looking to clear up a conflict of interest and cash in on his old production company, which Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter to Rupe, is buying for around $200 million. Not bad for a guy who built his career on stealing foreign shows like The Office and Ugly Betty and then repackaging them for the U.S. [NYP]

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