Power of Women
Variety’s choice of the players who innovated in business, pushed boundaries and grabbed headlines over the past year.
Variety’s choice of the players who innovated in business, pushed boundaries and grabbed headlines over the past year.
Adele only released one new song in 2012 — a Shirley Bassey tribute that served as the titular theme song to Sony’s James Bond pic “Skyfall.” Turns out, this was more than enough to allow her to retain her title as 2012’s top-selling artist, with her 2011 release “21” selling 4.2 million copies domestically within the year. In 2013 thus far, Adele has only made a single public performance, singing the aforementioned song at the Academy Awards, shortly before collecting an Oscar to go with her Golden Globe and nine Grammys, the latest of which she collected in February for a live version of a 2011 tune. She was also appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire this summer. If this is what a down year looks like for the 25-year-old, God help us all when her promised third record appears.
It’s not that Beyonce does things that other stars don’t, it’s just that she does them on a level that few of her contemporaries can match, and 2013 has been a banner year in Beyonce exceptionalism. Other stars sign brand endorsement deals for a quick paycheck — Beyonce gets Pepsi to pony up $50 million for a “creative content development fund,” whose purpose seems to be whatever Beyonce wants it to be. When HBO airs a two-hour documentary on her life, she gets to direct it herself. When she goes on a summer stadium tour, it surpasses $50 million in grosses after the first 30 dates. When Beyonce plays the Super Bowl halftime show, she sets Twitter records and the stadium’s power grid goes dark in response. When she gives birth to a daughter with husband, Jay Z, it becomes the hip-hop generation’s “Baby Ricky” moment.
Releasing her fourth album, “Red,” in late October 2012, Swi didn’t seem to stand much chance of overtaking Adele’s 2011 juggernaut “21” on the year-end charts. Yet considering the time frame, she came remarkably close. “Red” moved more than a million units in its first week, making Swift the first female artist to register two consecutive million-selling debut stanzas, and totaled 3.1 million copies within the year, good enough for a runner-up finish. Since then, Swift’s subsequent touring has kept her fans and accountants beaming, with Swi ’s still-in-progress 66-date North American jaunt ranking second only to the Rolling Stones on Pollstar’s midyear tally, grossing an average of $2.1 million per show.
Executive VP/Head of Urban Music, Universal Music Publishing Group; Senior VP, Motown Records
Habtemariam isn’t just one of the most powerful execs in the music business born during the Reagan era, she’s also a major name at both a storied label and the country’s second-largest music publisher. As senior VP at Universal Motown, the 33-year-old Habtemariam launched Ne-Yo’s high-charting “R.E.D.” last year, with anticipated releases from Erykah Badu and a Babyface-Toni Braxton pairing due out this winter. As executive VP and head of urban music at Universal Music Publishing Group, she has the successes of R&B breakout Miguel, Detroit rapper Big Sean and chart-topper J. Cole (not to mention lucrative behind-the-scenesters Rock City and Ester Dean) to her credit.
If ever there were doubts of Bullock’s genre-crossing chops, the thesp’s most recent efforts ought to put them to rest. Her summer buddy-cop romp “The Heat” proved that comediennes can get just as raunchy as their Y-chromosome counterparts, and reel in boffo numbers, too — “The Heat” is Fox’s No. 1 live-action release of 2013 thus far with $220 million worldwide. Bullock’s first foray into sci-fi, Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D “Gravity,” garnered rave reviews after its Venice fest bow, and early awards buzz for Bullock, who praises Cuaron for making the pic a female vehicle. “It could have very easily become the role of a man,” she said at the film’s Toronto Film Festival premiere.
It’s a steak-with-a-pulse sort of rare that a bawdy farce like “Bridesmaids” makes its way into the Oscar race, let alone earning a nom for a female thesp. Comic tour de force McCarthy’s turn in the hit comedy caused the producers of “Identity Thief” to rewrite the ilm’s male comic foil with her in mind. Just four months later, she had audiences doubled over with ribald comic stylings usually reserved for the likes of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, with a domestic pull of $157.9 million to boot. Her pairing with Sandra Bullock in “The Heat” proved inspired onscreen and off. McCarthy also stepped behind the camera for the first time on “Tammy,” a 2014 road movie she wrote and directed with her husband, Ben Falcone.
She won an Oscar for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” earlier this year and also won fans with her charming recovery from falling up the stairs on her way to collect the statue. With “Catching Fire,” the second installment of the blockbuster “Hunger Games” franchise, hitting theaters in November and her latest David O. Russell drama, “American Hustle,” already generating Oscar buzz, Lawrence is still the girl on fire.
Coming off of one of DreamWorks’ greatest triumphs to date with “Lincoln,” the studio’s co-chairman and CEO is teeing up for another busy fourth quarter, with the WikiLeaks pic “The Fifth Estate” hitting theaters in October and much-anticipated Vince Vaughn vehicle “Delivery Man” bowing in November. Her pick for the women’s impact list: “(DreamWorks president of production) Holly Bario is at the top of my impact list — she’s smart, experienced, a terrific work partner and partner in crime, and a great person to share a laugh with, which we do quite often.”
Peeking behind one of the last impenetrable iron curtains into the shadowy netherworld of movie trailer voice-actors, Bell’s debut feature screenplay for “In a World … ,” which she also directed adn stars in, sparked a real-world debate over the lack of female voices in coming attractions, not to mention winning Bell screenplay honors at Sundance and securing her film wide release from Roadside Attractions. As underrepresented as women are in that particular world, the ranks of femmes who have managed to cross over from acting to screenwriting are similarly diminished, making Bell’s journey from “The Practice” regular to award-winning scribe a truly inspiring triumph, for anyone who’s had a dream …
President/CEO, Annapurna Pictures
Just 27, the daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison has positioned her shingle, Annapurna Pictures, as a potent force in Hollywood, using her millions to bankroll her production and finance company dedicated to creating sophisticated, high-quality films considered risky by traditional studios. Savvy and auteur-friendly, she already has an enviable track record that includes Kathryn Bigelow’s 2012 “Zero Dark Thirty” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” This year her shingle is behind four films: Harmony Korine’s envelope-pushing “Spring Breakers” (a $30 million hit on a reported $6 million budget), Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster,” Spike Jonze’s “Her” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.” She teamed with brother David’s Skydance Prods. to grab the rights to “The Terminator,” which is set up at Paramount.
President, Plan B Entertainment
Another plan doesn’t seem necessary for Plan B’s president after a great year that included the monster global hit “World War Z” ($540 million) starring another Plan B principal, Brad Pitt. She also one of the producers on Steve McQueen’s Toronto hit “12 Years a Slave,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; she’s in post on Rupert Goold’s irst feature “True Story,” starring James Franco and Jonah Hill, and producing Ryan Murphy’s “The Normal Heart” for HBO. Plan B is also active in TV, working on several projects with ABC, HBO, and Starz, as well as developing ilm projects with David Fincher, James Gray, and Greg Mottola.
Executive director, IFP
As topper of the Independent Filmmaker Project since 2009, Vicente has long had her hands full keeping abreast of the indie world’s ever-shifting production and distribution models, but it’s hard to find a more tangible testament to her work than the Made in NY Media Center, scheduled to open later this month. Cra ed in partnership with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the facility will look to make the most of its “Silicon Alley” proximity in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, bridging the gaps between traditional filmmakers and digital content creators, online video auteurs and entrepreneurs by providing classes, workshops and a ordable workspaces.
President, Fox Searchlight Pictures
President of production, Fox Searchlight Pictures
It can’t be easy carrying a torch for the long-lost golden age of studio specialty divisions, but in their work as prexy and president of production of Fox Searchlight Pictures, respectively, Nancy Utley and Claudia Lewis have made the task look rather straightforward. After crafting crossover hits and kudo contenders out of indies “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” last year, Utley and Lewis have an even fuller plate as the fall’s award season kicks into gear, with Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” leading many Oscar prognosticators’ early odds, “Enough Said” attracting glowing reviews, and Sundance fave “The Way, Way Back” proving a specialty success this summer.
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<p class="p1">The Mumbai-based producer backed went to Cannes for the second year in a row. Monga, 30, produced “Monsoon Shootout,” “Ugly,” “The Congress” and “The Lunch Box,” which has been picked up by Sony Classics, and played Toronto. The previous Cannes, she produced “Gangs of Wasseypur,” and “Peddlers.” Monga’s 2009 short “Kavi” garnered an Academy nomination. She was picked for the Torino Film Lab and spent a few months in Europe learning its subsidy system. Her production company Sikhya Entertainment backs Hindi ilms outside Bollywood. “I have no personal dreams, my dreams are my directors’ dreams.”</p>
President, Paramount Television, Insurge Pictures and Digital Entertainment
This year, Powell was given oversight of Paramount’s nascent TV division. She’s charged with developing content for various platforms, including old fashioned TV. Her digital label’s most recent release, Ben Stiller’s “Bachelor” parody “Burning Love,” earned an Emmy nod this year and made the big leap from Yahoo! to E! Her team is developing the Bandito Bros.’ anticipated Web series “Chop Shop.” Her pick for the women’s impact list: “I would add two incredible women to my impact list: Abby Adams, executive director of Determined to Succeed, who helps identify motivated, low-income students and steers them through their education to college; and Hilary Gan, a child life specialist at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, who helps provide supportive relationships for patients and families, and brings fun, sunshine, love and movies into their lives.”
Co-head, motion picture literary dept. CAA
Fighting hard to create a new deal structure for her clients — one of the largest and most successful in the business — Gertner re-negotiated writer-producer Simon Kinberg’s deal at Fox to include first-dollar gross; he had signed on earlier this year to write one of the new “Star Wars” films and wrote and is producing “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and she brokered his deal to produce Neil Blomkamp’s “Chappie.” Her clients Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are returning to the “Star Trek” franchise as writers and producers of the third installment, and negotiated a deal for Akiva Goldsman — her first client to benefit from a first-dollar deal — to produce and make his directorial debut with “Winter’s Tale,” starring Colin Farrell, Will Smith and Jennifer Connelly. She signed “Rush” scribe Peter Morgan this year, and Morgan is set to write Ang Lee’s upcoming untitled 3D boxing film. Gertner oversees more than 30 agents; to date, the agency’s motion picture lit clients have generated more than $8.7 billion this year in global box office revenue. Her business philosophy? “Be direct, treat people with respect, and always have a sense of humor.”
Partner/co-head of talent dept., UTA
Rosenzweig is a dogged reader of scripts whose persistance and deep love of movies is built on fundamentals. Mark Ruffalo especially is flying high, from last year’s “The Avengers” to this year’s “Can a Song Save Your Life?” Jason Biggs has revived his career on Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” while “Game of Thrones” breakout Natalie Dormer was just signed up for the next two “Hunger Games” films. “Community’s” Gillian Jacobs is moving into features with 2014 releases “Walk of Shame,” “Life Partners” and “Black and White.” Jai Courtney starred in Toronto title “Felony” and will next been seen in “I, Frankenstein” and YA adaptation “Divergent.” “I love representing artists and still believe in good old-fashioned agenting,” she says. “I feel like something has been a bit lost in the artistry of representation when the focus is taken away from the artist and shifted more towards the bottom line.”
Talent agent, ICM Partners
Wechter’s in it for the long run with her clients: Hailee Steinfeld stars in “Ender’s Game,” plays Juliet in Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet,” just wrapped McG’s “Three Days to Kill” and was seen at the Toronto fest in “Can a Song Save Your Life,” while Quvenzhane Wallis can been seen in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and is shooting the title role in “Annie.” Abigail Spencer wrapped feature “This Is Where I Leave You,” opposite Jason Bateman and Tina Fey. “Pretty Little Liar’s” Lucy Hale is keeping Wechter’s phones busy while Josh Gad hits the silver screen in “Thanks for Sharing” and Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” and “Best Man, Inc.” with Kevin Hart. Wechter’s relationship with clients Susan Sarandon and Bryce Dallas Howard are also special — Sarandon is shooting “Tammy” with Melissa McCarthy while Howard will star in the next “Jurassic Park” pic. Her best advice? “I met Bernie Brillstein when I was an agent in New York and he told me if I was serious about this, I should move to L.A. And then learn to drive!”
Partner, TV lit group, WME
The WME partner’s clients have helped ill network schedules of the new TV season, with Adam F. Goldberg’s comedy “The Goldbergs” nabbing a prime slot on ABC; David Zabel overseeing “Betrayal,” skedded for ABC Sundays, and “Lucky 7,” co-created with her client Jason Richman, on Tuesdays. She negotiated the straight to series deal for ABC’s “Black Box,” patnering Amy Holden Jones with client Bryan Singer. Wellins also continues to oversee client Liz Meriwether, showrunner on Fox hit “New Girl.” Fox struck a deal with Net lix in July exclusive on-demand streaming of its highest-rated sitcom. “The Bridge,” from client Meredith Stiehm, was picked up for a second season by FX. Best advice she’s ever gotten? “Make the decision to want something more than you fear it.”
President, worldwide marketing and Intl. distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures
Kroll was already widely considered at the top of her game when she got a big promotion this past year. Kevin Tsujihara, who ascended to the top job at Warner Bros. in January, tapped her as one of a troika of execs to run the studio, replacing former president of WB Motion Picture Group Jeff Robinov, who ankled WB this summer. Kroll often works around-the-clock on her films’ campaigns, which have included “Man of Steel,” “The Great Gatsby” and last year’s Academy Award-winner “Argo.” Kroll’s promo for “The Conjuring” was largely credited with the low-budget pic’s nearly $300 million worldwide gross, and her carefully constructed campaign for “Gravity” is already generating buzz. Kroll started by unveiling a minute of footage for press and exhibitors in April during CinemaCon, and then debuted six minutes of footage for fanboys three months later at Comic-Con. The film then earned raves at the Venice festival and earned the distrinction of being the first 3D film to open the world’s oldest fest.
President, domestic marketing and distribution, Paramount Pictures
Par’s boffo summer included “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z” — global hits. Last year saw Colligan overseeing such successful releases as “Flight” and “Madagascar 3.” But the rest of Colligan’s year is jam-packed, as Par readies such awards season bait as Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and the return of Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in “Anchoman 2: The Legend Continues.”
President, Fox 2000
President, Fox Animation President, 20th Century Fox Production
This troika of women is largely responsible for Fox’s slate over the past year. Fox 2000 president Gabler personally pushed to make 3D epic “Life of Pi” for years, waiting until the technology was advanced enough to convincingly pair an animated tiger on a boat with a real-life actor. Fox animation head Morrison re-upped her deal with the studio in July 2012 in the wake of blockbuster “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” Fox Animation also produced “Epic,” which grossed $258 million worldwide. Production prexy Emma Watts’ role has only grown bigger following the departure of co-chairman Tom Rothman in September; Fox has Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” teed up for December.
President, entertainment and digital media, Microsoft
Microsoft has spent years attempting, with varying degrees of success, to turn its Xbox gaming console into a one-stop multimedia hub. Yet it wasn’t until last year that the company turned to a real TV heavy-hitter to mastermind its original content strategy, hiring former CBS exec Tellem to guide its entertainment and digital media efforts. Whether Xbox Live can follow Netflix’s lead and jump into quality programming is very much an open question, but with 76 million connected consoles worldwide — and the next-gen Xbox One coming in the fall — Tellem’s inherent leg-up in creating interactive content has made her division a must-watch sector in the convergence of television and technology.
Chairman, Universal Pictures
President, Distribution, Universal Pictures
President, Universal partnerships & licensing
Langley rose to become chairman of Universal in an executive shakeup in early September. Langley oversees production at the studio as well as at specialty label Focus Features. She helped lead the studio to a record-breaking summer with the sixth installment of its “Fast and Furious” franchise and “Despicable Me 2.” Langley tapped two female directors, Angelina Jolie and Sam Taylor-Wood, to helm a pair of the studio’s most high-profile projects: “Unbroken” and “50 Shades of Grey,” respectively. The exec works closely with Rocco, a driving force behind Universal’s expanded calendar. U released Guillermo del Toro’s “Mama” over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the second year in a row in which the studio has won that holiday weekend at the box office. Sperber helps support films such as the “Fast and Furious” franchise with merchandising campaigns including a robust $200 million-plus of promotional partnerships for “Despicable Me 2.”
President/CEO, Gannett Co.
Martore grabbed the attention of the TV biz in June by orchestrating a $2.2 billion acquisition of Dallas-based station owner Belo Corp. The deal nearly doubled Gannett Co.’s station holdings, jumping to 43 from 23, and it made Gannett the fourth-largest owner of Big Four network affiliates in country. Gannett is the No. 1 owner of non-O&O affiliates for CBS and NBC — meaning that when Martore calls, Leslie Moonves and Steve Burke listen. The TV station world remains very much a boys’ club, but the Belo transaction was in keeping with Martore’s ascent through positions that are nontraditional for women. Martore has maintained a generally low pro ile in showbiz circles but is respected by network execs for her strategy of growing Gannett’s TV footprint.
President, DC Entertainment/President & Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
In 2009, Nelson was tapped to lead DC Entertainment in exploiting its characters across all platforms, and this year saw “Man of Steel” gross $662 million worldwide, and social media explode with news about another DC character, the next Batman, Ben Affleck. But besides the celluloid heroes, Nelson oversaw the boost of the declining publising business, with initiatives such as “DC Comics — The New 52,” a relaunch of the 52 DC Comics titles. Print rev rose 11%, even as the digital versions of the titles were made available simultaneously. In May, WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara gave her oversight of the development, production and marketing of all videogame titles for WBIE. “My best efforts are to be collaborative wherever and whenever I can,” she says, “and to work to create an environment of trust that allows andencourages risk taking. Easier said than done.”
Now 74, the philanthropist and daughter of billionaire Walter Annenberg shows no sign of slowing down. Press-shy but hugely influential thanks to the Annenberg Foundation, she funded California’s first public beach club (the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica), medical centers (UCLA) and arts projects (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, of which she’s a trustee). Her latest ambitious project (estimated to have cost more than $40 million) is the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, set to open Oct. 17. Transforming an entire city block, it combines the historic Post Office building with the new 500-seat, state-of-the-art Goldsmith Theater, and will offer dance, opera, jazz, theater and film programs.
CEO/founder OWN; actor; talkshow host
Two and a half years after her cable network launched, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN is starting to turn a serious profit for Discovery Communications. Deals with Tyler Perry for TV content — the Sept. 3 finale of Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots ” scored a network high with 2.6 million total viewers — and high profile interviews with celebs including Lindsay Lohan and Lance Armstrong have helped grow OWN’s viewership in 2013, with Winfrey herself remaining actively involved in the biz and creative affairs at OWN. The net is seeing continued growth and ratings momentum thanks to its original, returning series, including “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” “Oprah’s Master Class,” “Super Soul Sunday,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Raising Whitley,” “Life With La Toya,” “Six Little McGhees,” “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor.” With so much success occurring at her cabler, Winfrey’s role in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” seems almost like a side gig. But the sleeper hit has already stirred up Oscar buzz for Winfrey, with her portrayal of Gloria Gaines leading many in showbiz to see Winfrey as a strong contender for a gold statuette.
Talkshow host, Host of the 86th Academy Awards ceremony
Another annus mirabilis for the uber-successful 55-year-old TV host, stand-up comedian, actress and spokeswoman. Following a couple of arguably rocky telecasts, the Academy again tapped the ever-reliable DeGeneres, who will host the 86th Oscars, making her the first woman to host solo since her own stint in 2007. Meanwhile, her syndicated TV show, which earlier this year was renewed through 2017, has won than 30 Daytime Emmys and regularly pulls in more than 4 million viewers. DeGeneres also came out ahead in the J.C. Penney controversy when conservative group One Million Moms (OMM) protested her holiday commercial and spokesperson role, demanding that she be fired. After GLAAD joined the fray and Penney’s held firm, OMM ultimately backed down.
Thursday nights on ABC this fall virtually belong to Rhimes. With “Grey’s Anatomy” steaming along into its 10th season, and Kerry Washington starrer “Scandal” establishing itself as a bonafide social-media sensation, Rhimes’ sudsy dramas have become the backbone of ABC’s scripted lineup, driving femmes to the network in droves. President Obama recently tapped her to the board of the Kennedy Center. The scribe knows how to flex her social-media muscle as well, routinely bantering with her almost half a million Twitter followers about her political and medical dramas. In spite of her crazed schedule of table reads, production and nonstop writing, Rhimes still takes a moment to pause and tweet out the hashtag “#grateful.”
President, CBS Entertainment
“Under the Dome” was a risky move for Tassler but it paid off with big ratings this summer. The success of that show led CBS to develop another summer venture with Steven Spielberg, the drama “Extant,” which is slated for 2014. Her pick for the women’s impact list: “I could not feel more humbled by the career and accomplishments of the late Laura Ziskin; the recent success of ‘The Butler’ and her dedication to Stand Up to Cancer reminds me that she committed her professional and personal life to projects that blended social activism and cultural change. I would also mention Pamela Oas Williams, who worked with Laura for 12 years and continues her legacy.”
After her Showtime series “Weeds” came to a close last year, Jenji Kohan wasted no time shepherding to Netflix a critical darling with prison-set dramedy “Orange Is the New Black.” Unlike predecessor original series on the streaming site, “OITNB” came boasting no A-list names or existing fan bases, but was nevertheless given a serious vote of confidence by Netflix with a pre-launch renewal. And it paid off: Kohan’s dynamic characters and strong writing were what made the series a must-binge show by consumers and industry folk alike, who took to social media in hordes to ask, “Have you started watching #OITNB yet? And when does season 2 come out?”
Thanks to the record-shattering success of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (to the tune of 12 million viewers), almost every cable network is clamoring for its own group of bearded men, leaving show co-creator Deirdre Gurney to, in a way, sit back and bask in the ratings glow. Thanks to “Duck Dynasty,” Gurney Prods. — founded in 2005 by now husband and wife duo Scott and Deirdre Gurney — has become one of the hottest unscripted shingles on the market, and recently sold a controlling stake in the org to ITV. Deirdre Gurney remains actively involved on every Gurney Prods. project, and exec produces “Duck Dynasty” for A&E. With projects lined up at cable nets including Discovery and VH1 in addition to maintaining a strong relationship with A&E, Gurney continues to be a force to be reckoned with in reality TV, giving competitors something to quack about.
President/CEO, A+E Networks
Chairman, A+E Networks
The programmer powerhouses’ long-running partnership made headlines this year when Dubuc succeeded Raven to become president and CEO of A+E Networks, while Raven was upped to chairman of A+E Networks. The two oversee the vast array of A&E Networks, including the flagship A&E, History and Lifetime. The two have the ratings juggernauts of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” and “Storage Wars” and History’s “Pawn Stars,” and the cabler’s massively successful move into scripted with A&E’s “Bates Motel,” History’s “Hat ields & McCoys,” “The Bible” and “Vikings.” In 2010 Dubuc also took over Lifetime,which has seen “Devious Maids” become a hit this year. Raven has been with A+E Networks for three decades and became CEO in 2005.
Head of lit dept., Paradigm
Klein took full control of Paradigm’s TV lit division earlier this year. She packaged CBS hit “Under the Dome” with her showrunner client Neal Baer and Paradigm client Stephen King. She was instrumental in placing client Marc Cherry’s “Devious Maids” on Lifetime after ABC passed. She continues her representation of showrunners such as “NCIS: Los Angeles” creator Shane Brennan and “The Good Wife’s” Michelle and Robert King. Her pick for the women’s impact list: “Wallis Annenberg. Wallis gives an enormous amount of her time, energy and money to spromote women’s causes and the arts.”
President, Sundance Channel
Since her promotion to network prexy in February, Barnett has guided Sundance Channel deep into scripted original waters with the March debut of miniseries “Top of the Lake,” and scripted skein “Rectify.” “Rectify” received a nod from the community of TV critics (and a renewal from Sundance Channel), marking a notable evolution for a net once only known for indie film acquisitions. Should the BBC alum’s ambitious plans for Sundance Channel pan out, the network will join the ranks of sister net AMC as a go-to for compelling dramas — and with shows like “Rectify,” Barnett’s vision is on the right track.
When Downey and her husband, producer Mark Burnett, (with their LightWorkers Media banner) announced their History miniseries “The Bible” back in 2011, no one knew if Jesus, Mary and Joseph would make for must-see TV. Premiering to 13.1 million viewers in March, “The Bible” boasted the largest cable television audience of 2013 to date, and has gone on to top best-selling charts on both iTunes and Amazon. Downey and Burnett are now teamed up with the Peacock for a follow-up project, “A.D.: Beyond the Bible,” the first project to fall under NBC’s recently established longform initiative.
President, Comedy Central
Ganeless led Comedy Central’s charge this year to break down the wall between the cable channel and the digital space, and make Comedy Central into a lifestyle brand. Highlights of her digital universe include the CC: Stand-Up App, which spotlights more than 700 comics; and Stand-Up Direct, which lets fans stream or download specials for $5 a pop, giving comics a new revenue source as well. Other brand-tastic programs include CC Studios, Comedy Central Radio on Sirius, #ComedyFest and new Comedy Central Certified Clubs across the country. It’s bowing more original programming than ever, with “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Drunk History,” “Kroll Show,” The Jeselnik Offensive,” “Nathan for You,” “Adam Devine’s House Party,” “Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!” and “@Midnight.” Oh, and the cabler’s shows nabbed 18 Emmy noms this year, with Stephen Colbert going home the big winner.
President of worldwide marketing, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Daily last year oversaw Twentieth Century Fox’s Digital HD initiative, which offered movies weeks before the Blu-ray/DVD date. She also led the launch of Bond 50, a year-long campaign celebrating 50 years of James Bond with a new box set of every Bond film on Blu-ray for the first time. It was the No. 1 Blu-ray box set of 2012. This year saw Daily kick off the campaign for the 50th anniversary of “Cleopatra,” which included an exclusive partnership with Bulgari, marking the first time the luxury brand has partnered with a home entertainment release.
President, original programming, BET Networks
Under Jones’ leadership, BET resuscitated “The Game” after it was canceled by the CW. The show launched in 2011 as the No. 1 sitcom debut in cable history. It continues to dominate the 18-49 female market; this September’s sixth season finale was the top comedy on cable as well as TV’s leading weeknight sitcom in this demographic. Jones and her team picked up BET’s first drama, “Being Mary Jane,” and renewed their successful semi-scripted comedy “Real Husbands of Hollywood” this year. Jones also oversees BET’s Premiere Cinema, which features a range of network-produced movies, and helps run the annual Urbanworld Film Festival.
Julie Plec may just be queen of the CW. As “The Vampire Diaries” remains one of the net’s top programs, Plec has two new shows debuting on the CW this fall — “TVD” spinoff “The Originals,” and sci-fi series “The Tomorrow People.” In addition to penning hit shows, the scribe understands the importance of engaging with her rabid fan base, routinely taking to her Twitter account — which boasts almost 400,000 followers — to joke about her grueling production schedule. With three active shows under her belt, Plec often quips on social media that she has to inish her TV writing “homework” before any sleep can be had — or what little of it Plec can get.
Exec producer “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
The latenight scene is often seen as a boys’ club, but when it comes to ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” one femme is calling the shots behind the scenes. Leiderman has helped guide the series into the 11:35 p.m. timeslot this year, placing it in direct competition with latenight vets Jay Leno and David Letterman. An alum of “Late Show With David Letterman” herself, Leiderman has been aggressive in booking top talent for Kimmel’s yakker, while giving him free rein to execute quirky segs that younger demos love. And her strategy as an exec producer is bearing fruit: “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” has been catching, if not beating, its competitors in the coveted 18-49 demographic in its fresh timeslot, something that the NBC and CBS brass may be losing sleep over in latenight.
Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts
In June, Daley unveiled the latest addition to the school’s campus and what might be her magnum opus: a three-story, 60,250-sq.-ft. facility, appointed with the same cutting-edge technology you might find at Pixar or Electronic Arts, tailor-made for USC’s top-ranking interactive media divisions. Her pick for the women’s impact list: Tracy Fullerton, chair of interactive media & games division at USC’s games innovation lab, is considered one of the world’s most creative game designers, having worked on big titles as well as indie games; published “Game Design Workshop” that is used around the world; and created “Walden,” the irst game to win funding from the NEA.
Executive VP/ g.m., Mun2
Mogollon has taken her NBCUniversal-owned cable channel Mun2 (pronounced “mun dos”) to new ratings heights during the past 12 months with a mix of reality shows and scripted series. Telemundo’s sibling cabler has the hard task of appealing to the emerging bicultural Hispanic young demo with programming that is primarily in Spanish, but speaks to a generation that has grown up in the U.S. Since Mogollon joined the cabler as g.m. in 2010, Mun2 has focused on unscripted series following top Hispanic celebs including the late Jenni Rivera and regional Mexican music star Larry Hernandez. She has become an integral part of the new focus at NBCUniversal on growing the Peacock’s Hispanic media assets.
Khouri has had a stellar year with sudser “Nashville” on ABC. Not only has the series given over the spotlight to a mature and three-dimensional leading lady (Connie Britton, who also does her own singing and received an Emmy nomination this year), but it has also been a boon to songwriters, since “Nashville” uses a lot of original music. And it’s no wonder, as Khouri is married to music producer-musician-songwriter T Bone Burnett, who gave season one a boost as exec music producer. Downloads of its songs have taken off on iTunes. In March, she told the Huffington Post: “(Adult women) are a market that I feel is underserved in entertainment … at large. I don’t see the kind of women represented that I know or that I’m attracted to. I really want to try to write more nuanced, less simplistic kind of stuff, and its hard to find a place to do that.” Season two of “Nashville” bowed on Sept. 25 with 6.5 million viewers.
CEO, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Hudson helped negotiate a deal with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to house the Academy’s new film museum, which will open in 2017, and has been integral in raising a big chunk of the $300 million needed for the project. She also spearheaded an unprecedented cross-country Acad membership meeting. Her pick for the women’s impact list: “My list includes the 14 women on the Academy’s Board of Governors — they are each leaders who challenge, motivate and help move the Academy forward, while inspiring a new generation of industry leaders and artists.”
Chairman, cable entertainment group, NBCU
Earlier this year, in a sweeping shakeup at NBCU, Hammer took full reins of the media conglom’s cable empire, as well as the Universal Cable Prods. studio wing. She’s been making bold moves since, recently selecting the Style Network to be overtaken by the upcoming Esquire Network. Her position gives her oversight of an unprecedented number of cablers, including USA, E!, Syfy and Bravo.
Exec VP, visual effects, Marvel Studios
Alonso has been key part of the Marvel team that astonished Hollywood by taking its second-tier characters, starting with “Iron Man,” and turning them into first-class franchises. The former visual-effects producer had executive producer credit on “The Avengers” and kept that title in all of Marvel’s pics since. “Iron Man 3” banked over $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide and proved one of the few certi iable smashes in the “Summer of the Flop.” In the next year her name will be on three pics, including “Thor” and “Captain America” sequels and the company’s most offbeat offering yet, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Supervising sound editor, Soundelux
Baker Landers is one of the few women who has pierced the glass ceiling in sound. Earlier this year she became a two-time Oscar winner after collecting sound editing gold for “Skyfall” (shared with her editing partner, Per Hallberg). Her irst Academy Award came five years ago for “The Bourne Ultimatum.” She also collected a Golden Reel award, her third, for “Skyfall.” “I don’t think about it that much until I get asked the question,” she said backstage at the Oscars earlier this year, “but it’s really an honor to represent women in the industry, so it means a lot to me.” Next up for Landers: the big-budget remakes of “Carrie” and “RoboCop.”