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THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100

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    16. Sue Naegle
    Sue Naegle
    President, HBO Entertainment

    Naegle and HBO have been on a roll lately. Last year's freshman series Boardwalk Empire won a Golden Globe for best dramatic series. Emmy season saw the network earn a whopping 104 nominations and 19 wins. And 2012 will see the long-awaited debut of Luck, the David Milch-Michael Mann horse-racing drama starring Dustin Hoffman. "David wrote a beautiful script," says Naegle, "and Michael shot the hell out of it."

    She says the show will fit nicely within a lineup that ranges from fantasy (Game of Thrones) to bawdy (Hung). "We have a lot of different colors on the palette," says Naegle, 42. "Not every single viewer watches every show. But the ones they watch should be their favorite shows."

    THR's 2011 Women in Entertainment Power 100

    Also slated for HBO is Girls, the Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow-produced vehicle about twentysomething women in New York; an as-yet-untitled cable news drama from Aaron Sorkin; and Veep, a D.C.-set comedy series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. "I like the idea that viewers can't describe our lineup too easily," she says. "But they could say all our shows are very good."


    Naegle's journey to HBO started directly from UTA. And while the jobs of agent and exec exist on two different planes, there is obvious overlap. "There's a degree of buying and selling even in my job," she says. "You have to be a strong advocate of the shows you believe in. Sometimes those skills are very similar to agenting." And while being an advocate is one job skill, the most important to her is working with the writers. "Most development doesn't make it to series," says the exec. "So you want the writer and director to have a really good experience with development because, if it doesn't work out, you want to work with them again. You have to know their work really well, know the drafts really well, and when you give notes, you need to have really thought them through."

    Naegle applies the same level of commitment to her family life with comedy-writer husband Dana Gould and their three young daughters.

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