'Chuck,' 'Mad Men,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Dollhouse' plus at least four new comedies made the cut
No. 8: 'Kings'
I doubt he had much to do with developing, ordering or producing it, but "Kings" is one of the few failures of Ben Silverman's NBC tenure that makes me want to go and shake the Boy Genius' hand. Sure, NBC had no clue how to promote, program or support "Kings," much less how to get anybody to watch a dark, literate, epic retelling of a Biblical story, but the network aired every episode of "Kings" that was produced, which says something. Creator Michael Green and a directing team that included Francis Lawrence, Clark Johnson, Tucker Gates and Ed Bianchi generated one of the small screen's most ambitious pieces of speculative fiction in recent memory, complete with insecure kings (Ian McShane), power-hungry yet weak princes (Sebastian Stan), threatening spiritual leaders (Eamonn Walker), winsome princesses (Allison Miller), controlling queens (Susanna Thompson) and one young peasant with a destiny we never got to see realized (Christopher Egan). "Kings" looked and sounded like no show on network TV, culling its language from Shakespeare and holy books and taking its visual styles from a cinematic canvas. Was it always successful? Nah. But it aimed so high it's a wonder it worked at all.