The reigning best actress Oscar winner exemplifies the new breed of versatile actress who moves easily between tentpoles (“The Hunger Games,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and adult dramas (“American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”).
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Cable billionaire John Malone
The cable pioneer has single-handedly ignited a fervor of M&A conversations in the TV sector with his take over of Charter Communications and his pursuit of Time Warner Cable.
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A strong perf in “The Butler” has revived her film career, just as her cabler OWN is starting to find its footing.
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CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves
The CBS Corp. boss has expertly leveraged the Eye’s vast content archive for digital licensing pacts that have boosted earnings to record levels. And he didn’t blink in the monthlong carriage standoff with Time Warner Cable this summer.
Shane Smith – Vice media
Vice media made headlines by sending Dennis Rodman on a diplomatic mission to North Korea, among other rugged journalism adventures. Vice extended its brand to TV with its HBO newsmag, but the bigger accomplishment may be in proving (to investors such as Rupert Murdoch) that a digital-only journalism enterprise with a renegade attitude is a viable business.
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By day he’s an Oscar-winning director and producer. By night, he’s soon to be Batman. We’re a long way from the “Gigli” days.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
<p>The pair’s faith in the appeal of a miniseries based on Bible stories has launched a Hollywood crusade to develop more spiritually themed fare. After putting their own money on the line to finance History’s “The Bible,” the two are reaping the rewards of ancillary sales including the upcoming 20th Century Fox feature “Son of God,” derived from the miniseries.</p>
WME’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell
The WME co-CEOs are bravely diving into new business arenas with a bold $2.4 billion acquisition of sports giant IMG Worldwide.
She’s become a strong voice on diversity issues in Hollywood in addition to being the leader of a network TV series that became a hit by embracing its fans via social media. And in her spare time, the “Scandal” star is a style icon who manages to look casual in 6-inch heels.
Peter Chernin – Executive
He didn’t get Hulu, but Chernin Group has kept bizzers intrigued all year by buying up pieces of digital media and international companies that most of us have never heard of, let alone understand. Nobody doubts that he’s got a master plan to make money by putting all the pieces together.
Ted Sarandos – Netflix
Netflix is now part of every conversation for TV development deals thanks to its willingness to fork over big license fees to impress with originals like “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Arrested Development.”
‘Breaking Bad’ creator Vince Gilligan
The ever-modest, down-to-earth mastermind of “Breaking Bad” has set a high bar for drama series to come — and his own second act.
‘Gravity’ director Alfonso Cuaron
The hyphenate employed cutting-edge technology to deliver a convention-defying drama in “Gravity” that proved studio pictures can still surprise and delight. He and J.J. Abrams will try to do the same this spring with the supernatural NBC drama series “Believe.”
‘SNL’ creator Lorne Michaels
It’s easier to list the shows on NBC that he doesn’t produce. Michaels led the push to install Jimmy Fallon at “The Tonight Show,” and he handpicked Seth Meyers as his successor at “Late Night.” He’s kept “Saturday Night Live” a vital part of pop culture (so much so that he was forced to respond to criticism that the cast lacks an African-American and a prolific farm team for film and TV comedy talent.
Megyn Kelly – Fox News
The Fox News anchor has become a big primetime draw for the cabler — and that’s no whitewash.
The shock of his death in June at age 51 reminded us how much “The Sopranos” changed television, and how much a beloved television character feels like family.