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Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List

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From singing competitions to the Kardashians, unscripted TV today is driven by these 50 behind-the-scenes talents (ranked, of course) who keep adding juice to the red-hot genre.

To call 2012’s jockeying for placement on The Hollywood Reporter’s Reality Power List the most competitive ever would be like saying the Kardashians have dabbled a bit in self-promotion.

PHOTOS: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

What does it really mean to wield power in reality TV? Is it about having 10 shows on the air or in production, as does The Real World creator Jonathan Murray? Or is it, like Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano has done, about making even the most mundane activities of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino into breaking-news headlines? Or maybe power comes in the form of creating a giant hit like The Voice, which, under the guidance of NBC’s Paul Telegdy, went from quirky experiment (Cee Lo! Spinning chairs!) to one of the year’s most-buzzed-about pop culture phenomenons. Or, could it be turning one of the highly polarizing events in pop culture last year (i.e., Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries) into one of the guiltiest -- and most lucrative -- pleasures ever broadcast, as did E!’s Lisa Berger?

Reality power comes in all these forms and more. Among the 50 featured on the following pages are high-powered executives, prolific producers, newcomers making waves and veterans of the industry who, in keeping with their world, live and thrive by the only rule that matters: Make it real, and make it really good.

Items 11-20
  1. 11 Eileen O'Neill

    Group president, Discovery and TLC Networksread more

  2. 12 Dirk Hoogstra

    Senior vp development and programming, History and H2read more

  3. 13 Rob Sharenow

    Executive vp programming, Lifetime Networksread more

  4. 14 Chris Linn and Lauren Dolgen

    Executive vp programming, head of production; senior vp series develo...read more

  5. 15 Frances Berwick

    President, Bravo and Style Mediaread more

  6. 16 David McKillop

    Executive vp programming, A&E and BIOread more

  7. 17 Lisa Berger

    President, E! Entertainment Programmingread more

  8. 18 Craig Piligian

    President, CEO and executive producer, Pilgrim Films & TVread more

  9. 19 Thom Beers

    CEO and executive producer, Original Productionsread more

  10. 20 Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth

    Executive producers, Magical Elvesread more

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