We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV | [Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson]

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

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.
Regular Price:$28.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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 like Seinfeld, 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.

©2012 Warren Littlefield (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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)

"With entertaning insider's perspective, Littlefield transports readers back to a seemingly magical time when half the country would watch the same show." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (103 )
5 star
 (33)
4 star
 (51)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.0 (93 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (6)
Story
3.9 (94 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 11-03-13
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 11-03-13

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    331
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    411
    277
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    51
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Fun Flashback of 90s TV!"

    I’m the kind of person who buys DVDs for the special features; I love behind-the-scenes scoops and gossip!

    It was great fun to learn how these shows came to be - a reminder of good times! If you liked Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends, Cheers, Mad About You, Will & Grace, ER etc you’ll get a kick out of it too.

    It was a great trip down memory lane.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Lavin Woodland Hills, CA United States 05-18-13
    David Lavin Woodland Hills, CA United States 05-18-13

    LA Magic Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh."
    Would you try another book from Warren Littlefield and T. R. Pearson and/or Bob Balaban?

    Probably not. The writing and performance were extremely bland.


    What didn’t you like about Bob Balaban’s performance?

    Much of the book were transcripts of interviews, and Balaban's performance did nothing to help the listener discern who was speaking. For example:

    Warren Littlefield: It was a terrific time for us at NBC.
    Jennifer Aniston: Yes, we felt we could really get into our roles without too much network interefence.

    Bland, bland, bland.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS NH 02-15-13
    DS NH 02-15-13 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    80
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    451
    131
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "must read TV"

    A really good history of the TV industry during the go-go years. Great fun if you were there and illuminating for anyone in the industry at the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-10-12
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nostalgic Look at NBC in the 90's"
    What made the experience of listening to Top of the Rock the most enjoyable?

    Hearing about the exciting events of the time from my favorite writers and stars.


    What other book might you compare Top of the Rock to and why?

    Live From New York (the SNL book). EXCEPT this book is much, much better to listen to because it (a) is not as long and boring, and (b) only has one narrator. The SNL book had too many narrators, which was really distracting.


    What about Bob Balaban’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job of reflecting the meaning of the words behind the quotes, without trying to imitate Seinfeld, for example.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's not that kind of book. But I guess the most impressive thing was all the moving parts that went into the successful spinoff of Frasier, especially considering how many things could have gone wrong, and how many spinoff disasters there have been before and since.


    Any additional comments?

    Really awesome book for anyone that loves TV.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chess Piece Face cleveland, OH 09-17-12
    Chess Piece Face cleveland, OH 09-17-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not suited for audio"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy Bob Balaban, television history and comedy.

    This book is just a collection of quote after quote after quote. Perhaps reading it is ok, but listening to it is so disjointed and annoying.

    This is how it is presented..."Sean Hayes. We got to the set on the first day. It was nerve wracking. Debra Messing. I couldn't believe how great everyone was. I was so excited. Warren Littlefied. I knew this cast had something special from day one." Etc. Imagine an entire audio book of that.

    I enjoyed the SNL book that was a lot of quotes. I also enjoyed The Late Shift and its sequel. This was just not compelling.

    Also upon reaching the ending, it is nothing but Warren Littlefield saying how great he was and how amazing his era of must see tv was. How his being fired was a huge mistake and they will never have anything like that again and his greatness is to be remembered. It's a bit much. Another reviewer mentioned they heard him in an interview and ran out and got the book. I also heard him on a radio show and he seemed nice and interesting. But this is a terrible book.

    I do not recommend. Thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 09-03-12
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    389
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    262
    159
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    46
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great for NBC fans"

    This behind the scenes book is a light, quick read. If you remember watching ER, Frasier, and Friends, you'll like the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-30-12
    Sarah Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you love TV history and NBC Must See TV.."
    Any additional comments?

    You will really love this book. Full of details and inside stories about the rise of Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace and many other shows. A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 07-23-12
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 07-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How 'must see TV' was born on NBC"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I lived during the age of must see TV. i was one of those people who watched Seinfeld, ER, etc. religiously. And yes we would discuss the shows next day at work. The book is a behind the scenes look at how the process worked. I found it fascinating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Chicago, IL, United States 06-30-12
    Thomas Chicago, IL, United States 06-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not just celebrity gossip"

    The best part of this is the sort of business school-like case studies about managing creative ventures in the totally irrational marketplace of show business. It's a series of brief interviews from different vantage points.

    It's not deep, nor thorough, slightly self serving, but I was entertained and it went by really quick. I recommend it.

    Bob Balaban does a really solid read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Gap, PA, United States 06-22-12
    Thomas Gap, PA, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horribly difficult to follow"
    Would you try another book from Warren Littlefield and T. R. Pearson and/or Bob Balaban?

    No.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This is the first book that annoyed me enough to write a review.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard an interview with Mr. Littlefield discussing the book and immediately bought it. I was horribly disappointed. The book is a compilation of quotes from dozens of people, many of which I'm sure are important but I have never heard of, that fail to cohesively tell stories. It is a horribly lazy way to relay stories that people would otherwise love to hear. I suspect it would be slightly better in book format, but still annoying. After the first hour of listening, I couldn't take any more; I tried to skip through the rest, only to give up after realizing it is just as bad throughout.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.