Future TV titans

Hollywood's New Leaders 2011: Television

Terence Carter | Sharalynn Cornwall | Ben Davis | Joe Hipps | Kelly Luegenbiehl | Andy Weil & Andrew Mittman

Terence Carter
Senior vice president, drama development {Fox Broadcasting Co.}
Currently the network’s youngest senior vice president, Carter is a rising star thanks to his key role in developing two high-profile dramas: Steven Spielberg’s “Terra Nova” and J.J. Abrams’ “Alcatraz.” Before that, he helped steer, with entertainment president Kevin Reilly, the first season of the hit series “Glee.” Appropriately enough, it was while the Washington, D.C., native was running an inner-city dance program at college that he realized his future lay in the entertainment business. “It was so rewarding and fulfilling,” says Carter, 32, who initially tried talent management and film production before finding his sweet spot in TV, “first at comedy, then drama.” His mantra? “Work hard, play hard — and it’s so important to find that work-life balance,” says Carter, who loves to travel and who also devotes a lot of his spare time to community service. “You need some perspective in this crazy business.”

Sharalynn Cornwall
VP, production {A. Smith & Co.}
Cornwall, 30, is a woman of many interests, which she uses to her advantage as she juggles a diverse group of TV shows at A. Smith & Co. Productions. Her projects include “UFC Countdown,” BET’s “American Gangster” and her favorite, NAACP Image Award-winning “Unsung,” about music’s one-hit wonders. “I don’t know how many people can say that they’ve been so lucky so early in their career,” she says. Cornwall credits her success to her mentor and boss Frank Sinton, COO of A. Smith & Co., whom she followed from Asylum Entertainment, where she was his assistant. She hopes her career continues on the same path, “where work doesn’t feel like work,” she says. But when life and work hit a bump, Cornwall recites her mantra, which, like a true Bruin, she borrowed from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden: “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

Ben Davis
VP, scripted programming {AMC}
Joining AMC seven years ago, Davis quickly became a key member of the team blazing the trail for the cabler’s scripted programming push that developed acclaimed award-winning series including “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” Having also helped develop the pilots for “The Walking Dead” and “The Killing,” Davis, 31, is currently managing the second seasons of both shows while still working on “Breaking Bad” and constantly looking to develop “the next big unique idea.” The energetic, movie-loving executive credits AMC’s “free, creative environment” and good timing for his successes. “My mantra is, never settle and always make sure to take chances and take big swings,” says Davis, who says he always knew what he wanted to do. “I’m incredibly passionate about my work, and I also know I’m one of the luckiest guys in this business, as I’ve ended up in the perfect environment here, where they really encourage risk-taking.”

Joe Hipps
VP, production {Media Rights Capital Television}
Television executive Hipps, 34, is clear on what it takes to succeed when putting together great shows. “I try to find the best talent out there and put them in a position to do great work,” Hipps says. “You have to remember it’s not about you; it’s about giving the talent the room to do their work.” It’s clearly a philosophy that’s produced results. Hipps has worked with Ricky Gervais, Larry Charles and Mike Judge. He was a key part of the group that made the recent head-turning 26-episode deal with Netflix for the upcoming series “House of Cards,” a political thriller that will be executive-produced by David Fincher and Eric Roth, adapted by Beau Willimon and star Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. “It’s a real privilege to work with such amazing people on this kind of material,” Hipps says.

Kelly Luegenbiehl
VP, comedy development {ABC Network}
“It definitely helps to have a good sense of humor in this job, and I love to laugh — it’s such an important part of life,” says the 33-year-old Indiana native who developed the Hoosier-set “The Middle” (now in its third season), along with frosh series “Suburgatory,” “Last Man Standing” and “Work It.” “Plus we have a great team here, so work is such fun.” Prior to joining ABC in 2006, Luegenbiehl, who began as a page at NBC, worked for Bravo where she developed “Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Flipping Out” and Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D-List.” “I’ve done reality and drama, but there’s a real resurgence in comedy now, so it’s a great time to be in this world,” says the executive, who loves to travel and who lived in Nagoya, Japan, for a more than a year. “I can still read and speak Japanese — it was a very formative experience.”

Andy Weil & Andrew Mittman
Head of scripted television {BermanBraun}
Head of feature film {BermanBraun}

Working at Paramount by day, studying as a film student at USC by night, Weil spent his college graduate years completely immersed in the movie industry. Despite his experience in film, however, when he started working at BermanBraun he realized he belonged in television. “I wish I’d worked in TV earlier because I think it’s a really creative medium,” says Weil, 27. Now the head of scripted television at the company, where he received an executive title at age 23, Weil has steered “Alphas” on Syfy through a four-year development, supervised “The Cape” for NBC and is supervising the “Modern Love” pilot, based on the New York Times column, for Lifetime.
Boston-born Mittman, 28, says he was “always an excessive cinephile as a kid.” He drew on that passion to help jumpstart BermanBraun’s film division. Mittman serves as head of features at the company, where he set up “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” and finalized the remake rights to “The Boys From Brazil.” Though his specialty is film, he’s also involved in the television division where he, too, helped supervise the first season of “Alphas.” “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to dip a toe into television production,” Mittman says. “I’ve found that, unlike features, the medium offers the unique opportunity to explore characters more intimately, over the length of an entire seaso
n, and that’s been very creatively fulfilling.”

More TV

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    CBS Stations Go Dark on AT&T's DirecTV, U-verse Platforms Amid Contract Battle

    CBS’ 28 O&O stations are going dark for about 6.6 million subscribers of AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse platforms as the Eye and AT&T battle over a new retransmission consent contract. The blackout affects CBS and CW-affiliated stations in 14 major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Also off the air are the CBS [...]

  • Orlando Bloom Comic Con Immigrant San

    Orlando Bloom Claims San Diego Mayor Ran From Comic-Con Exhibit Featuring Immigrant Characters

    Did an immigration storyline cause Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to run out of Amazon Prime Video’s Comic-Con activation this week? According to “Carnival Row” star Orlando Bloom, that’s exactly what happened. At Amazon’s “Carnival Row” panel, Bloom told the audience that Faulconer stopped by the Prime Video activation and chose the “Carnival Row” [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final Season Backlash 'Media-Led Hate Campaign'

    What is life like now after “Game of Thrones?” That’s the question that fans have been asking themselves and that cast members had to answer at the show’s final Comic-Con panel. But first, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others cleared the air and addressed the perceived negative response to the final season. “I don’t [...]

  • SDCC Roundup: AMC Drops 'The Walking

    SDCC TV News Roundup: AMC Releases 'The Walking Dead' Season 10 Trailer (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con has become a hotbed of entertainment news in recent years, especially for the television industry. In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, AMC dropped a trailer for the 10th season of “The Walking Dead” and FX released a first look at “Mayans MC” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS AMC debuted the trailer for Season [...]

  • ARCHER: 1999 -- "Cubert" -- Season

    'Archer' Renewed for Season 11 at FXX

    “Archer” has been picked up for an eleventh season. The announcement was made Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The news comes less than a week ahead of the Season 10 finale. Season 11 is slated to debut on FXX in 2020. While the show initially focused on the agents and support staff of a covert [...]

  • Carnival Row

    Amazon Debuts New 'Carnival Row' Footage at Comic-Con (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con attendees got an extended look at the upcoming Amazon drama “Carnival Row” during the show’s panel at the annual fanfest on Friday. Two new featurettes (see above and below) offer in-depth looks at the backstories of the two main characters — Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) and Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom). Delevigne plays [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content