Co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, AnneSweeney leaves her 18-year position to become a TV director. "I've often said [to others], 'Do the things that scare you the most.' "
"Good Morning America"
There is no more critical programming in television news than the morning shows because of their ability to generate millions in ad revenue across multiple hours each day. So when ABC's GMA snapped Today's unprecedented 16-year winning streak in 2012, the ripples were felt across the entire TV news business. Nearly two years later, GMA remains on top, with ad revenue increasing by about 10 percent in 2013 from $318 million in 2012.
"High School Musical"
The three-film Disney Channel franchise has spawned a cottage industry, including a concert tour, theatrical production, ice show, soundtracks (the original film's album was the best-selling in the U.S. in 2006), DVDs, books and even a short-lived reality series. High School Musical 3: Senior Year, released theatrically in 2008, generated $80 million worldwide on its opening weekend alone. And it made Zac Efron a star.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Kimmel's show may have been supplanted as the top-rated broadcast late-night program among the 18-to-49 demo by JimmyFallon's shift to The Tonight Show (and its Olympics lead-in), but the ABC host has proved lately that he can rise to the occasion. His post-Oscar show was watched by 7 million viewers, his most yet. And he's still got a knack for viral content; the latest iteration of "Mean Tweets" has hit more than 10 million views on YouTube.
The 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2 generated nearly $100 million in ad revenue, with buyers plunking down nearly $2 million for a 30-second spot on the show -- which was watched by 43.7 million viewers, the most since 2000. Sweeney played a key role three years ago in renewing ABC's deal with the Academy through 2020, a shrewd move considering how DVR-proof awards shows have increased in value since then.
The addictive ShondaRhimes drama has been a bright spot on troubled ABC. The show hit a series high for its third-season premiere in October, scoring a 3.6 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic, a jump of 71 percent from the season-two premiere. A big hit on social media, Hulu and Netflix, Scandal and star KerryWashington have given ABC a place in the zeitgeist with spoofs on Saturday Night Live and a viral hit Spanish-language parody.