“Top of the Rock” is an oral history of the years that was the NBC Thursday night line up known as Must See TV. “Top of the Rock” is a collection of thoughts from the talent, writers, producers, directors, and suits of the shows, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Friends, ER, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Will & Grace, Law & Order, and Frasier.
The sources and quotes have been culled into a book by then NBC President of Entertainment, Warren Littlefield. This book is disjointed in that it’s authorial voice changes every few sentences. Does that make it bad? No. But, it is like one of those Splitsider oral history articles, that goes on for three hundred pages.
The chapters on Friends, Seinfeld, ER, and Frasier are particularly interesting. Even for me, a huge fan of the first two, and never watching the latter. But, this book is littered with good bits of advice and information.
What this book has going for it is that it has many great minds speaking from many perspectives on the art and craft of creating primetime television. Yet, I can’t help but think it could be trimmed down to 20 pages and it’d be more potent. But, I suspect this would be a good read for those who would enjoy a stroll through history and don’t want to mainline information like me.
For those of you who want my fantasy short version, I’m offering a service. I’ll go through and redact anything that not interesting or informative. It’ll be $100, covered in black sharpie, and an even faster read.