Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Entertainment Collectibles Shop Now HTL
Desperate Networks and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Desperate Networks 1st Edition

38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385514408
ISBN-10: 0385514409
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item shows slight signs of wear. Dust Cover shows slight wear.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
84 Used from $0.01
More Buying Choices
25 New from $4.41 84 Used from $0.01 3 Collectible from $9.97
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Deals in Books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The power relationships of network television have turned topsy-turvy in the last five years. Carter, who covers the industry for the New York Times, reveals as one example how NBC was muscled out of its first-place standing as the other networks developed hit after hit. The shows he chooses to showcase are instantly recognizable—American Idol, Survivor, Desperate Housewives—and in every case, the show's path to the airwaves is at least as dramatic as its content. Though Carter is primarily concerned with prime-time hits, his reporting spreads out from the TodayShow to the nightly newscasts and, harking back to his bestselling The Late Shift, the negotiations that cemented Conan O'Brien as Jay Leno's successor on The Tonight Show. Despite multiple narrative threads, the story never gets confusing or bogged down. Though some clear heroes emerge, like Housewives creator Marc Cherry, most of the key figures, from Idol's acerbic Simon Cowell to network execs like CBS head Les Moonves and NBC's Jeff Zucker, are depicted ambiguously, reflecting failures as well as successes. And it's Carter's insider access, illuminating the players' states of mind, that makes this backstage drama so riveting. (May 2)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Carter's book The Late Shift (1996), also an HBO movie, focused on the vicious battle for Johnny Carson's coveted spot on The Tonight Show. Here he tackles the entire industry, taking a behind-the-scenes look at network television's struggle to compete for eyeballs and revenue dollars with looming distractions from the likes of cable, TiVo, and computers. Despite all that, no hit can create the type of sensation that a network megahit can. Carter takes us into the process at the executive decision-making level, where network bigwigs clamor for years for the next monster hit only to have it slip through their hands and wind up on a competing network. The shake-ups are evident: NBC's "Must-See TV" dominance ended with the last episode of Friends, ABC rose from the ashes with Lost and Desperate Housewives, and Fox constantly challenges the old guard. All three major network news anchors--Rather, Brokaw, and Jennings--signed off in an amazingly short period of time. Without resorting to gossip, Carter digs up the dirt on the shows you love and the ones you love to hate. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385514409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385514408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jijnasu Forever VINE VOICE on June 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In a fairly entertaining behind-the-scenes account of the major US networks' programming decisions, the author provides a glimpse of the inner workings of TV executives (and intentionally or not, doesn't necessarily show them to be geniuses). The initial discussions surrounding Survivor's introduction is perhaps the better written part of the book. Past blunders (always in hindsight, though) by all the major networks as discussed by the author is an interesting read as well. The "characters" themselves seem particularly myopic and is very difficult to believe these people shape what the rest of the world gets to watch on television. The book itself is well-written in an easy-going narrative style. A good read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on July 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you are like me and love almost all things television, this is an interesting look at what it takes to get shows on the screen and how networks battle for a particular show. Once you can get behind the long title, you'll learn so much that you probably didn't know before.

Apparently, Desperate Housewives was passed by NBC, CBS etc until finally someone at ABC gave it a go and look at what happend. Nobody at NBC or CBS would give Mark Cherry a go because he didn't have a reputation anymore.

He talks about how the people who 'green light' Lost, Grey's Anatomy were on their way out the door and almost fired when they stumbled across these now hits. How Friends' producers never wanted the show to be set around a coffee shop. They wanted them to be around a diner. How Jeff Zucker founded a show's supersizing.

This is a great eye-opening look at the behind the scenes moves that go on all the time that we are mostly unaware of. I really loved it and though it's a bit heavy at times, it's mostly really enjoyable and fun.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. Bill Carter is the best in the world when it comes to reporting the behind-the-scenes machinations of network television. He obviously had the extensive cooperation of Les Moonves, Jeff Zucker and other important players. As a result, you get rich, turn-by-turn accountings of such thrilling events as how 'Survivor' was born and how 'Desperate Housewives' made it to the screen. Carter captures the seminal moments when 'Survivor' and 'Housewives' creators Mark Burnett and Marc Cherry (respectively) finally break through, each overcoming very long odds. It's spine-tingling stuff.

'Desperate Housewives' is simply superb reporting from Bill Carter. Anyone with an interest in finding out how creative product goes from vision to reality will devour this book. It clocks in at a little under 400 pages...I'd be willing to read 800 pages of material like this from Mr. Carter.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Mazer on October 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was a really fascinating book. It started off slowly (the first pages were tedious) and the writing is disjointed. The author jumps from time period to time period and network to network almost convulsively. You'll be reading about NBC in 2004 and then next thing you know it's ABC in 2000 and then back to CBS in 2005.

That said, the story is compelling: networks passing on shows like Desperate Housewives, Simon Cowell doing American Idol in the hope of discovering talent for his record company. Careers depend on the ability to predict what the public will watch, and what they will and won't watch isn't as obvious as one might think, even to people in the business with years of experience.

If you have any interest in television, personal politics, or the fallibilities of corporate execs, this is an interesting read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By afcassidy on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. Takes you behind-the-scenes into what may be the last days of true broadcast network television.

The breakdown of the book was about what I had expected, although the author focused a bit more on the creation of shows than the business side of running the networks than I had hoped. As a fan of Lost, it was great to hear about how that show came to life. Personally don't care for Desperate Housewives, but the writing is good and the stories are entertaining. If you like CSI, The Apprentice, Survivor... it's really interesting to learn about the stories behind their creation. (Did you know UPN could've had Survivor and didn't pull the trigger on it?)

In 5 years, when none of these shows are still on the air, this might not be as fascinating. But if you're a TV fan, this is absolutely worth checking out.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ravi Madhavan on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Carter's book about the competition between the 4 networks during the 2000 to 2005 years is a great follow up to Ken Auletta's "Three Blind Mice". Twenty years later the networks still faced declining viewers to cable. In addition they began to face a public that could choose to watch when they wanted and even bypass advertisers. However, a show that could capture an audience could still attract 30 million viewers. And this makes the competitive spirits between the executives and programming gurus extremely entertaining. The decline of NBC from the 20 years of being number 1, the resurgence of CBS with Survivor and CSI, the television changing popularity of American Idol and the surprising hat trick by ABC in 2004/2005 with Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey's Anatomy are all told from inception to getting on the schedule. Each with many ups and downs and many almost dying in development before ever reaching the airwaves.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews