The THR 100: Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful People in Entertainment

4:50 AM 6/22/2016

by THR Staff and Edited by Alison Brower

THR presents its first ranking of the industry's most powerful execs, creatives, stars, producers, directors and reps.

Todd Williamson/Getty Images;Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Reported by Matthew Belloni, Patrick Brzeski, Scott Feinberg, Rebecca Ford, Stephen Galloway, Marisa Guthrie, Natalie Jarvey, Gregg Kilday, Borys Kit, Kim Masters, Pamela McClintock, Michael O'Connell, Lacey Rose, Tatiana Siegel and Ben Svetkey

  1. 100
    100

    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Actor/creator, 'Hamilton'

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    Few on this list will cop to not having seen the phenom's hip-hop life of Alexander Hamilton on Broadway (Steve Golin is one, but his son has seen it four times) as Hollywood is eager to tap into the 36-year-old's heat and originality: He's writing music for Disney's Moana and will star opposite Emily Blunt in its Mary Poppins sequel.

    BIG WIN Hamilton's 11 Tonys and pop-culture domination.

    BIG BET Translating his unique talent and brand beyond Broadway to risk-averse Hollywood.

  2. 99
    100

    Chris Pratt

    Actor

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    He went from a slightly pudgy comedy actor on NBC's Parks and Recreation to the leading man on every studio's most-wanted list after he landed two franchises: Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal's Jurassic World.

    BIG WIN Jurassic World became the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time.

    BIG BET Sci-fi romance Passengers (Pratt, 36, got a $12 million payday).

  3. 98
    100

    Jason Blum

    Founder/CEO, Blumhouse Productions

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    Blum, 47, ingeniously rode to success on a wave of microbudget genre movies such as Paranormal Activity, Insidious and The Purge; his franchise films have grossed more than $1.6 billion on combined budgets of less than $80 million.

    BIG WINS The Visit made $99 million on a $5 million budget; Insidious: Chapter 3 scored $113 million worldwide on $10 million.

    BIG BET Leaving horror behind for a Benji remake.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    I fly coach (unless someone else is paying).

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My van.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Bughuul.

    In high school, I was …
    A loser.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I can ride a unicycle.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Kim Masters.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Dennis Hopper.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Four times. I’ll see it again before Lin-Manuel Miranda leaves.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    Miso cod.

  4. 97
    100

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Actor/director/producer

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    In Marvel movies, he's the highest-paid actor in Hollywood ($80 million in 2015), but his own projects (2014's The Judge) haven't taken off.

    BIG WIN Captain America: Civil War.

    BIG BET Downey, 51, has said he'd be willing to shoot another solo Iron Man film, if Mel Gibson directed (although he later said he was joking).

    ***

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    I played him 25 years ago and have studied him continually since, so I suppose a two-top with [Charlie] Chaplin … so masterful!

  5. 96
    100

    Neal Moritz

    Producer

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    Two words: Fast and Furious. Moritz, 57, has shepherded the Universal franchise since its inception in 2001.

    BIG WIN Furious 7.

    BIG BET Sony's Jump Street-Men in Black crossover.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My 10-year-old daughter thinks I work for her.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My morning workout, wherever in the world I am.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My lawyer, Howard Abramson, and my business manager, Howard Altman.

    In high school, I was …
    The kid with really long hair.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I’ve always been able to throw any kind of ball a long distance.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My wife and kids.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My dad.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Once, and it was incredible.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    I don’t go to the commissary, but my go-to lunch is a chopped salad from La Scala.

  6. 95
    100

    Brian Grazer

    Partner, Imagine Entertainment

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    It has been seven years since Grazer produced a major box-office hit with 2009's Angels & Demons ($486 million), but in TV he has been an influential connector and packager on series like Empire and the new 24: Legacy. And with his best-selling pop-psych guide, A Curious Mind, he has spun himself as a creative guru.

    BIG WIN Empire.

    BIG BET Stephen King's The Dark Tower (Feb. 17), which Sony and MRC picked up after Universal let it go.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Going to a third-world country like Burma and having humility, I suppose. Going to an AIDS orphanage in Kenya and realizing how powerful or how powerless we all are on the planet.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    A margarita at the end of the day.

    In high school, I was …
    Cut from Chatsworth High’s football team. That was the reason I made Friday Night Lights. I felt the pain of being cut from high school football, it was so painfully brutal. When I came across Friday Night Lights, I thought, "This is exactly the feeling I had."

    What's your hidden talent?
    Painting Barbies and all-girl bands that never existed like the 666 Barbie, the Gothic Barbie, the pill-taking pharmaceutical Barbie.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    The pope. He’s a very modern, liberal, brilliant pope.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    The football coach that cut me. Lew Wasserman was the first powerful person I met in show business.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Yes, four months ago. I loved it. I went backstage and hung with these guys for a couple of hours.

    What's the most ridiculous thing you’ve bought since becoming powerful?
    I bought a house on the north shore of Oahu. It was 13 years ago when I produced Blue Crush. I literally landed and bought a house that day that I only use a couple of times a year.

  7. 94
    100

    Alejandro G. Inarritu

    Director/producer

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    Inarritu, 52, is the first filmmaker in 65 years to win back-to-back directing Oscars (Birdman, The Revenant).

    BIG WIN Revenant also scored $532 million worldwide.

    BIG BET What will he do next?

  8. 93
    100

    Scott Rudin

    Producer

    Getty Images

    The 57-year-old has been nominated for seven Oscars (he won for No Country for Old Men) and 36 Tonys (he has won 14) and is one of only 12 people who've achieved an EGOT.

    BIG WIN Tonys for The Humans and A View From the Bridge.

    BIG BET Bringing Broadway to Hollywood with Fences, Tony Kushner's adaptation of August Wilson's play, starring and directed by Denzel Washington.

  9. 92
    100

    Kevin Beggs

    Chairman, Lionsgate TV Group

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    The relatively small, nimble group run by Beggs, 50, has seen its revenue grow from $8 million in 2000 to nearly $1 billion in 2015. Among its 80 series across 40 networks are Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and Hulu's Casual.

    BIG WIN Saving Nashville, with a move to CMT and Hulu for a fifth season.

    BIG BET Banking on viewers to find little-known CMT.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Los Angeles traffic and my epic commute, but Bluetooth has made it tolerable. Apologies to everyone I call before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.!

    In high school, I was …
    A drama geek and happily so, as I really wasn't that good at basketball and rehearsals conflicted with practice. At 5-foot-5 in those days, I was destined for the theater.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I’m a pretty good foosball player. A soccer collision in sixth grade found me in a cast for six months with a broken leg. That's all I spent my time doing in the pre-internet era.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    William Shakespeare. I have so many questions!

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Bob Broder and Elliot Webb. They represented the producers for whom I worked as an assistant, and of course, some of the most successful writers in all of television. I remain in awe of what they accomplished and their knowledge of the business. 

  10. 91
    100

    Aaron Sorkin

    Writer/producer

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    Sure, Steve Jobs failed to become a serious awards contender, but Sorkin, 55, remains Hollywood's top screenwriter thanks to his obsessively smart style and a résumé that includes such acclaimed works as A Few Good Men, The West Wing and The Social Network.

    BIG WINS Signing to helm the poker drama Molly's Game, adapting To Kill a Mockingbird for Broadway and doing A Few Good Men live for NBC.

    BIG BET Molly's Game marks his directorial debut.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    I have no control over where on the bed my dog sleeps.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Scott Rudin and William Goldman.

    In high school, I was …
    Vice president of the drama club.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Juggling.

  11. 90
    100

    David Ellison

    Founder/CEO, Skydance

    David Livingston/Getty Images

    He has had hits (Jack Reacher, two Mission: Impossible films) and misses (Terminator: Genisys) through a partnership with Paramount. But after raising $700 million in March, the 33-year-old son of Oracle's Larry has several big projects coming up including Star Trek Beyond (July 22) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Oct. 21).

    BIG WIN Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation opened at No. 1 last July.

    BIG BET Sci-fi film Geostorm.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Diet Coke.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Skip Brittenham.

    In high school, I was …
    A video game nerd.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Walt Disney.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Steve Jobs.

  12. 89
    100

    Doug Herzog

    President, Viacom Music & Entertainment Group

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    Herzog, 56, has had to reimagine MTV and manage a talent transition at Comedy Central amid a restructuring (in early 2015) that saw many longtime execs exit as intrigue at the top of the company dominated headlines.

    BIG WIN Live ratings are off at Trevor Noah's The Daily Show, but the age of the average viewer has dropped since Jon Stewart days.

    BIG BET Managing amid Viacom's upheaval.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My inability to control the remote in my bedroom.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Music streaming.

    In high school, I was …
    The Jewish kid at a Catholic school.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Joe Frazier, literally and figuratively.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Twice, once with Lin-Manuel Miranda and once without.

  13. 88
    100

    Amy Schumer

    Actor/comedian

    Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

    Since her summer 2015 feature debut, Trainwreck, drew $140 million (an Emmy for her Comedy Central sketch show followed close behind), Schumer, 35, has been ubiquitous — a fact she skewers regularly on Inside Amy Schumer.

    BIG WIN Her reported $9 million book advance.

    BIG BET Her box-office draw will be tested with 2017's untitled mother-daughter comedy with Goldie Hawn.

  14. 87
    100

    Thomas Tull and Mary Parent

    Chairman/CEO; Vice chairman, production, Legendary

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    For Tull, 43, selling his troubled studio to Wanda was a coup that undoubtedly helped Warcraft — widely expected to be a debacle — generate headlines about big box office in China. His other big score was hiring Parent, 48, the producer who pulled The Revenant out of a world of trouble and helped it get to $533 million.

    BIG WIN That lucrative, though shrouded in mystery ($3.5 billion?), sale.

    BIG BET The three-picture "Monsterverse" at Warners, with Kong: Skull Island set for 2017, leading to an eventual match between the giant ape and Godzilla.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    PARENT Picking up after my seven rescue dogs.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    PARENT Coffee.
    TULL Reading before lights out.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    PARENT My better half, Javier.
    TULL A.G. Lafley.

    In high school, I was …
    PARENT Sometimes at the movies when I was supposed to be in class.

    What's your hidden talent?
    PARENT I wish I had one.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    PARENT My grandfather.
    TULL Jesus.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    PARENT David Geffen.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    PARENT Once.
    TULL Once.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    PARENT Q's smoothies and cookies.

  15. 86
    100

    Skip Brittenham

    Partner, Ziffren Brittenham

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    Part attorney, part banker, part consigliere and all dealmaker, the 73-year-old Brittenham is the only lawyer on this list because he transcends the label. He repped Thomas Tull in Legendary's $3.5 billion acquisition by Wanda and is guiding Sean Parker and his team on the creation of the Screening Room, which could bring first-run movies to the home.

    BIG WIN Helping Jeffrey Katzenberg on the sale of DreamWorks Animation.

    BIG BET Harrison Ford, who has been Brittenham's client for 40 years, is returning to Indiana Jones.

    ***

    Who's your most important adviser?
    David Geffen.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Lyndon B. Johnson. As a 24-year-old Air Force captain, I was invited to the White House by a friend.

    What's your hidden talent? 
    Fly fishing expertise.

    In high school, I was...
    The class clown.

    I can't get through the day without... 
    Texting all three of my daughters.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Lyndon B. Johnson. As a 24-year-old Air Force captain, I was invited to the White House by a friend.

     

  16. 85
    100

    Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht

    Presidents, U.S. programming and production, Sony Pictures TV

    Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

    In May, the pair scored five new network series pickups, including a Blacklist spinoff and CBS' Kevin James comedy; by June, they'd been promoted, adding worldwide TV to their purview.

    BIG WIN Their move up after boss Steve Mosko's exit.

    BIG BET Multicam Kevin Can Wait, which insiders say is CBS' best hope for another billion-dollar franchise.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    VAN AMBURG Consistently losing at Twister with the family. I'm competitive, so it physically and emotionally hurts.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    VAN AMBURG Wanting to hear or tell a good story.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    VAN AMBURG Lisa. For those who don't know her, she's my amazing wife who is patient and thoughtful and insightful.
    ERLICHT My dad, both from a personal and professional perspective. I’m lucky to have had him in as an adviser all these years.

    In high school, I was …
    VAN AMBURG Not thinking Eric Garcetti would be mayor someday. Now, I think he could be president.
    ERLICHT Watching way too much television. It might have helped me professionally, but it sure didn’t help me get a date to the prom.

    What's your hidden talent?
    VAN AMBURG I can whistle really loudly to sound like a light saber or an extreme electric shock.
    ERLICHT I’m a decent hockey player. A little sad that it’s now in an over-40 league, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    VAN AMBURG George Washington. I want to thank him and break the news that [Alexander] Hamilton is momentarily more famous.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    VAN AMBURG Wally Amos, otherwise known as Famous Amos. He signed a bag of chocolate chip cookies and told me to make the world a better place. Do you think he meant with TV shows?
    ERLICHT President Ford. When I was a young kid, I wrote a letter to [him], and I actually got a personally signed response. I was the only kid in first grade who was pen pals with the president.

  17. 84
    100

    Matt Damon

    Actor

    Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

    The Martian captured his everyman charm, grossing $630.2 million. Outside his wheelhouse, Damon, 45, is less proven (see Elysium).

    BIG WIN A best actor Oscar nomination for Martian.

    BIG BET Jason Bourne.

  18. 83
    100

    Martin Scorsese

    Director/producer

    J. Countess/Getty Images

    The master filmmaker, 73, recently saw his overall deal at Paramount extended through 2019 as he develops a Leonard Bernstein biopic and Erik Larson's serial-killer novel The Devil in the White City (starring muse Leonardo DiCaprio).

    BIG WIN After a bidding war, STX shelled out $50 million for The Irishman.

    BIG BET November's Silence.

  19. 82
    100

    Kevin Hart

    Actor/comedian

    Jeff Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

    He dominates the stand-up world, and his films collectively have grossed $959 million; action comedy Central Intelligence opened at a solid $35.5 million.

    BIG WIN The 36-year-old's recent stand-up tour sold more than 600,000 tickets and grossed $35 million.

    BIG BET Co-starring with Bryan Cranston in a remake of The Intouchables, a 2011 French comedy about a quadriplegic aristocrat.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    There is no such thing as "a least powerful thing" about my life because I consider my life pretty powerful.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Talking to my kids.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Jay Z. I have received amazing advice over the years.

    In high school, I was …
    A lovable guy who made everybody have a genuine good time.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I'm an amazing dancer.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My mother, Nancy A. Hart.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Oprah Winfrey.

  20. 81
    100

    Jimmy Fallon

    Host, 'The Tonight Show'

    Courtesy of Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

    The unequivocal king of late night and a must-stop on the celebrity promotional train, Fallon, 41, trounces his competition in all key demos.

    BIG WIN He has spawned myriad viral hits along with Spike's Lip Sync Battle.

    BIG BET As the genre's go-to fun guy, can he stay relevant in an election year?

  21. 80
    100

    Chris Silbermann

    Founding partner, ICM Partners

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    Although it lacks the scale of Hollywood's top three agencies, ICM Partners under Silbermann, 48, claims powerhouse TV clients including Shonda Rhimes, Ellen DeGeneres and Vince Gilligan.

    BIG WIN Rhimes' deal for 70 hours of TV a season.

    BIG BET Investing in new hires and new offices.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Being coach of my kids’ football team. They kick my ass on a weekly basis.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Pop-Tarts and coffee.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    It was a friend of mine who passed away, Ken Heitz, a lawyer. He and I used to have some very good talks. We used to do yoga together. He played basketball for John Wooden and then was a managing partner at a law firm, and we would talk about how to relate to and manage people — how to really listen, stay calm and try to understand what somebody really means when they’re talking to you. People say things, but what do they really mean? He helped me understand how to listen, engage and become a leader.

    In high school, I was …
    A cool nerd. [ICM agent] Eddy Yablans and I went to high school together at Harvard-Westlake.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Managing my time. I spend a third of my day on my personal clients; a third on firefighting for the company’s clients; and a third managing the company.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    George Washington. He had an opportunity to be president for life, but because he had the vision to do what was right for the country, we have a system that still works more than 200 years later.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My grandmother, Viola. She was 100 percent about love.

  22. 79
    100

    Steve Golin

    Founder, Anonymous Content

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    The 61-year-old producer had a hand in Oscar winners Spotlight and The Revenant. His Anonymous Content, which manages about 500 clients including Emma Stone and Steven Soderbergh, is coveted by several suitors including Endemol, which is looking to buy a minority stake.

    BIG WIN Spotlight's Oscar-night surprise.

    BIG BET A sale could dilute his control of Anonymous.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My emotions. I’m an emotional person. I can get really sad and really angry. And I think I wish I had more control over my emotions, frankly.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Coffee. I can’t even get going in the morning without a cup of coffee. It’s my first thing. Otherwise, I’m really super grumpy.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My girlfriend, [Serial Pictures’] Violaine Etienne. She’s got a lot of wisdom. As long as it doesn’t involve her, she gives me very, very good advice.

    In high school, I was …
    Terrified I was going to be sent to Vietnam. That was kind of the overwhelming thing of my high school.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I can hold my breath for two minutes.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Billy Wilder.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    John F. Kennedy. Second grade trip to Washington, D.C.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    No. I’m ashamed to admit it. I’m trying to see it next week. I really want to see it before [Lin-Manuel Miranda] leaves. I can’t wait. My son has seen it four times, and all he does is play the album.

    What's the most ridiculous thing you’ve bought since becoming powerful?
    A little more than a year ago, I bought a small sailboat — a sleek little French boat. Every single thing they say about boats is true. It’s a nightmare. It’s literally just ripping money up. I don’t have a lot of extravagances, but that’s one. I always wanted a sailboat my whole life. I really enjoy it while I’m on it, but the thing that’s the most upsetting is when I add up how much it costs every time I use it. It’s just the dumbest thing you can do.

  23. 78
    100

    Jeff Skoll and David Linde

    Founder/chairman; CEO, Participant Media

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images; Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic

    It has been a big year for the company launched in 2004 by eBay co-founder Skoll, 51. He ousted CEO Jim Berk; aligned with Hollywood's most important director, Steven Spielberg, by making a $200 million equity investment in his new Amblin Partners; and tapped veteran Linde, 56, as CEO.

    BIG WIN A best picture Oscar win for Spotlight.

    BIG BET Deepwater Horizon (Sept. 30) from Peter Berg.

    ***

    Who's your most important adviser?
    LINDE My wife, no question.

    In high school, I was …
    LINDE Senior class president and a just-fair (but very enthusiastic) soccer player.

    What's your hidden talent?
    SKOLL Amateur hypnotist.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    SKOLL Moses, Jesus and Muhammad to try to sort it all out. This was the subject of my MBA entrance essay at Stanford.
    LINDE Xi Jinping [president of the People’s Republic of China, general secretary of the Communist Party of China and chairman of China’s Central Military Commission].

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    LINDE Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. My father was his law clerk. He wrote that "restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us," which is something to live by.

  24. 77
    100

    Peter Chernin

    Chairman/CEO, Chernin Group

    Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    The former News Corp. exec, 65, has put his stamp on film and TV with the past two Planet of the Apes movies and Fox's New Girl; his Otter Media, a partnership with AT&T, has committed $500 million to OTT video services and has a controlling stake in Fullscreen Media.

    BIG WIN Spy, which he produced, hit $236 million.

    BIG BET September's Tim Burton film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

  25. 76
    100

    Ridley Scott

    Director/producer

    Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage

    With 2015's The Martian, the 78-year-old helmer got his mojo back at the box office ($630.2 million worldwide). As a producer, his 2015 slate boasted four films, a TV movie and two series (The Man in the High Castle and now-wrapped The Good Wife).

    BIG WIN The Martian's Oscar noms included best picture (but not best director).

    BIG BET Alien: Covenant, shooting in Australia.

  26. 75
    100

    Frank Marshall

    Producer

    Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

    Longtime Spielberg collaborator Marshall, 69, is a producer on The BFG and the next Indiana Jones film. He also has Jason Bourne (July 29) and Clint Eastwood's Sully (Sept. 9).

    BIG WIN Jurassic World relaunched the franchise with a $1.67 billion gross.

    BIG BET Fox's Assassin's Creed.

  27. 74
    100

    Denzel Washington

    Actor/director

    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    The two-time Oscar winner, 61, is helming and starring in Fences, an adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning play, as he builds an action franchise with plans to make The Equalizer 2, a sequel to his 2014 vigilante thriller ($192.3 million worldwide).

    BIG WIN He and wife Pauletta raised $17 million for D.C.'s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

    BIG BET Fall's The Magnificent Seven remake.

  28. 73
    100

    Peter Roth

    President, Warner Bros. TV

    Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Although his TV studio — responsible for The Big Bang Theory, Blindspot and Gotham, among others — faces challenges in an environment where networks are increasingly interested in owning their own programming, Roth managed to sell new series to all five broadcast nets.

    BIG WIN Eight new shows ordered in May, up from seven a year earlier.

    BIG BET Fox's Lethal Weapon.

  29. 72
    100

    Christopher Nolan

    Director/producer

    Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

    2014's Interstellar validated the revered 45-year-old auteur's vision by taking in $675 million worldwide.

    BIG WIN He took a stand against Warners, joining forces with Clint Eastwood to insist that recently departed head of domestic distribution Dan Fellman be involved in the release of their next films.

    BIG BET He's shooting his ambitious World War II film Dunkirk (slated for July 2017) on both large-format 65mm film and Imax.

  30. 71
    100

    Tyler Perry

    Actor/producer and CEO, Tyler Perry Studios

    Getty Images

    Perry, 46, has earned $651 million at the worldwide box office, mostly thanks to his Madea comedy franchise, in which he also stars. Similarly impressive, he's turned around OWN with a collection of top-rated shows.

    BIG WIN In 2015, he made a $30 million deal to purchase 330 acres of the former Fort McPherson Army base, the future home of Tyler Perry Studios.

    BIG BET He'll look to do for TLC what he did for OWN with its first scripted series, Too Close to Home.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Cleaning up dog poop.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Prayer.

    In high school, I was …
    Tall and awkward.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I'm an architect.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My mother, who died in 2009.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Ms. James, my kindergarten teacher.

  31. 70
    100

    Phil Lord and Chris Miller

    Writer/director/producers

    Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Broad Green Pictures

    On the heels of their instant classic Lego Movie, Lord and Miller, both 40, are key players in the Lego franchise at Warners and the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover at Sony. In TV, they have three comedies on Fox's schedule next season.

    BIG WIN They'll helm Star Wars' Han Solo spinoff.

    BIG BET Casting Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    LORD Writing.
    MILLER Getting my kids to eat their breakfast.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    LORD Caffeine, in very specific, artisanal, perfectly brewed form.
    MILLER Caffeine, in any form.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    LORD The Hollywood Reporter.
    MILLER This other guy next to me, Phil Lord.

    In high school, I was …
    LORD A real whiz with a 286. And an Atari 520ST. And if you know what those are, you were obviously really cool just like me.
    MILLER Super popular, throwing touchdowns and partying and not nerdy AT ALL. Please do not look into this.

    What's your hidden talent?
    LORD Voiceover scratch screams. I am the next Wilhelm.
    MILLER Meticulous memory for irrelevant information.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    LORD Chris Miller, because there is no one else I’d rather spend time with, and I’m sure he feels the same.
    MILLER Billy Wilder.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    LORD Otto, my seventh grade bully. He’s definitely on this list.
    MILLER Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, though he was probably never on this list.

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    Mike Hopkins

    CEO, Hulu

    Mike Windle/Getty Images

    Even after doubling its subscriber base to 12 million, Hulu remains the smallest of the three streamers. But under former Fox exec Hopkins, 47, it has been spending aggressively on programming.

    BIG WIN A $12-a-month ad-free tier that Hopkins says has boosted sign-ups to its "limited ads" tier.

    BIG BET Hulu is in active negotiations to bundle live programming as part of a new OTT service in 2017.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    We recently got a family dog, and when I’m home I’m the cleanup crew.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My afternoon cup of coffee. It’s usually Peet’s Fair Trade with a little milk.  

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Sheri.

    In high school, I was …
    A dork with a crew cut and orange hoodie. It was part of my school colors and I wore it literally every day.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I’m the backup timer at my daughter’s swim meets, and I can use a stop watch to get within one-tenth of a second from the scoreboard time. It’s very official for 12 year olds.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Winston Churchill. Think of all the things he was a part of or moments he witnessed. Lunch wouldn’t be long enough. He’s fascinating to me. I use his quotes once in a while when I’m doing presentations.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    I’m a lifelong Dodgers fan, so I have to say it was probably Tommy Lasorda at a baseball camp in my teens.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    I have not, but I want to.

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    James Cameron

    Director/producer

    Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

    With the No. 1 (Avatar) and 2 (Titanic) movies of all time, the 61-year-old, who hasn't made a film in seven years, has the power to do whatever he pleases — and what pleases him is to immerse himself in Avatars.

    BIG WIN Reteaming with National Geographic on the doc Search for Atlantis.

    BIG BET Avatar 2, slated for 2018.

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    Chris Albrecht 

    CEO, Starz

    Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

    Though he no longer can claim the tastemaker status he did at former home HBO, the premium cable exec, 63, finally has begun generating ratings (Power) and buzz (upcoming American Gods).

    BIG WIN Outlander's 23 percent ratings jump and three Golden Globe nominations.

    BIG BET Its April OTT launch.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Fear.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My mother.

    In high school, I was …
    Short.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Falling off horses.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Jesus.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Mickey Mantle.

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    Greg Berlanti

    Executive producer

    Christopher Patey

    The 44-year-old has earned the unofficial title "the genre whisperer" thanks to four popular DC series, including Arrow and The Flash. With the addition of a live-action Archie comics update in 2017, the man with the mega Warner Bros. TV deal will own five hours on The CW.

    BIG WIN Skirting cancellation for Supergirl, with a move to The CW this fall.

    BIG BET Will CBS viewers follow the show?

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Pingpong and whistling.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Sweets.

    In high school, I was …
    The kid who pushed the AV equipment into your classroom.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Leslie Moonves. I was a temp at CBS the month that he took over. He got into an elevator (in a tux) alone with me. It felt like I was alone in an elevator with Frank Sinatra.

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    Mark Pedowitz

    President, The CW

    Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The CW

    Once considered an afterthought, his younger-skewing network has transformed into a destination for award-worthy programming (Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and more commercial genre fare (Flash, Arrow) under Pedowitz, 63.

    BIG WIN He scored a new multiyear contract in April.

    BIG BET Supergirl, which he snagged from corporate cousin CBS.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Picking up after the dogs during our daily walks.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Working out.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Carolyn Martin. 

    In high school, I was …
    Crazy about basketball, both playing and watching.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I like to believe I have very good instincts.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Sandy Koufax.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My mother.

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    Melissa McCarthy

    Actor/producer

    Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

    At an age when most female stars see opportunities begin to dry up, McCarthy, 45, transformed herself from sidekick to bona fide movie star. She remains one of the few (male or female) who can sell a film on her own, as she did with Tammy ($101 million worldwide) and The Boss ($78 million).

    BIG WIN Spy ($236 million).

    BIG BET Sony's Ghostbusters reboot (July 15), for which she was paid $14 million.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Any negotiating I do with my children. They’re like warlords. You can’t win.

    I can't get through a day without …
    Etsy. I bought a beautiful blanket from a woman who knits in Poland. I bought old French antiques from somebody in a little tiny town. I get all these weird vintage things. It’s literally the best thing. And Pinterest.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My husband, Ben. Every decision we talk through, he’s so level-headed and good with that stuff.

    In high school, I was …
    Punk rock.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I make a mean meatloaf.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My four grandparents. Group brunch.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Sister Illuminata, who taught eighth grade. I thought, "That lady is in control of a lot of things." Those nuns meant business.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Only once, but I’m desperate to go back and see it about 64,000 more times. It’s the only thing that plays in our house. Even the kids. And we are completely sociopathic for it.

    What's the most ridiculous thing you’ve bought since becoming powerful?
    I’m not a big splurger. But I’m a big bath-taker, and I went to a bathtub factory and Frankensteined my own bathtub. I was with all the guys who build them and told them what I wanted. The way most are — like where the drain is and how shallow they are — it’s like sitting in a Howard Johnson’s tub.

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    Kevin Reilly

    President, TNT/TBS and chief creative officer, Turner Entertainment

    Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    The former Fox chief has a programming budget that will balloon to $1 billion by 2018. Among the swings Reilly, 53, already has taken to bring edge to his two cable networks: plucking Samantha Bee for a TBS late-night show and adding globe-trotting specials from Conan O'Brien.

    BIG WIN Bee broke through the late-night clutter.

    BIG BETS His first batch of TNT dramas including Good Behavior (with Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery) and Will (about Shakespeare's wild 20s).

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My golf swing. 

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Exercise, espresso, laughing, complaining. 

    In high school, I was …
    Thinking about everything but high school. 

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Shakespeare. And a legit business expense because we're doing a show on his young life.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Joe Namath.

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    Brett Ratner and James Packer

    Partners, RatPac Entertainment

    Michael Kovac/WireImage

    Since signing a massive co-financing deal with Warner Bros. in 2013, RatPac's high-octane producer-director (Ratner, 47) and Australian mogul (Packer, 48) have financed projects ranging from Gravity to Mad Max: Fury Road. Every year, they provide $400 million-plus for the Warners slate — not to mention other films they back, including joint ventures with New Regency.

    BIG WIN The Conjuring 2.

    BIG BET With its fate inseparable from Warners', RatPac will be watching Legend of Tarzan and Suicide Squad closely.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    RATNER Saying "yes" when I should be saying "no."

    I can't get through a day without … 
    RATNER Getting a hug from my grandma, Fanita.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    RATNER James Packer, my business mentor; Al Malnik, my life mentor; Roman Polanski, my film mentor.

    In high school, I was …
    RATNER Honing my skills.

    What's your hidden talent?
    RATNER Making even people I hate love me.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    RATNER Golda Meir.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    RATNER Meyer Lansky.

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    Simon Kinberg

    Writer/producer

    Getty Images

    The 42-year-old's knack for world-building and ability to speak geek has made him indispensable to Fox's Marvel properties such as the lucrative X-Men franchise and its many spinoffs.

    BIG WIN The Martian and its seven Oscar nominations.

    BIG BET Deadpool 2. The first film is a tough act to follow.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    The lack of vacation time. And what I look like when I’m in writing mode — think caveman.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Checking my email every 10 minutes. I recently considered technology rehab.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My agent Risa Gertner.

    In high school, I was …
    A basketball player who secretly read comic books.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Staying calm on the outside, even when I’m going crazy on the inside. And being able to exist on very little sleep (on average, about four hours a night).

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Lin-Manuel Miranda. Or Walt Disney.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Anthony Quinn, the actor. He was at my birth, because my father knew him. The first time I remember thinking of someone as "powerful" was when I met Julius Erving at a charity event.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    I've seen Hamilton once, but I’m going back for Lin's second-to-last night. And I listen to the music with my kids almost nonstop. 

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    Chinese chicken salad. 

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    Megan Ellison

    CEO, Annapurna Pictures

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    In Hollywood, spending money is easy; exhibiting taste is tougher. Ellison, the 30-year-old daughter of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, does both. She's produced more than a dozen films and been nominated for three Oscars. Relationships with filmmakers like David O. Russell (American Hustle) give her clout with distributors.

    BIG WIN She dropped $40 million on five properties in West Hollywood to house her expanding company.

    BIG BET Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's animated Sausage Party (Aug. 12).

  42. 59
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    Robert Simonds and Adam Fogelson

    Chairman and CEO, STX Entertainment; Chairman, STX Motion Picture Group

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images (2)

    With Fogelson, 49, leading his film division, Simonds, 52, continues to build out his media company with deep-pocketed backing from VC firm TPG Growth and Hony Capital, among others. China's Huayi Brothers Media has agreed to co-finance 18 films.

    BIG WIN As it ramps up toward releasing 12 to 15 films per year, STX picked up U.S. and Canada rights to Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game at Cannes for $9 million.

    BIG BET It also grabbed international rights for Martin Scorsese's hotly contested The Irishman for $50 million.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    FOGELSON My putting stroke is beyond weak.

    I can't get through a day without ...   
    FOGELSON
    Laughing.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    FOGELSON My brother.

    In high school, I was …
    FOGELSON Much thinner.

    What's your hidden talent?
    FOGELSON I’m a pretty good cook.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    FOGELSON My wife and daughters.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    FOGELSON Warren Beatty. My dad took my brother and I to [his] house. We said hello and then ate ice cream and put our feet in the pool while they met about Shampoo.

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    Gary Barber

    Chairman and CEO, MGM

    Victor Chavez/WireImage/ Getty Images

    Since his company emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, Barber, 58, has refurbished the home of James Bond and The Hobbit. In 2015, MGM posted a record profit ($253 million) for the third year in a row as its TV arm produced such hits as Fargo.

    BIG WIN The Rocky franchise re-entered the ring with Creed, a new champ.

    BIG BET Deciding which studio will distribute future Bond installments.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My 9-year-old Lexus that has over 120,000 miles.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My phone.

    In high school, I was …
    The best athlete in my school.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Being a patient father to my children.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Nelson Mandela.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    David Ben Gurion, when I was 15.

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    Roy Price

    Head, Amazon Studios

    Getty Images

    Price, 48, has turned Amazon's fledgling film unit into one of the indie market's most active buyers. Deep pockets and a willingness to release theatrically before streaming help him curry favor with theater owners and filmmakers alike as the TV division continues to earn awards buzz (Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent).

    BIG WIN Price is prepping for the 2016 launch of Woody Allen's TV debut starring Miley Cyrus.

    BIG BET Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea could put Amazon in the Oscar conversation.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My total inability to get reservations at restaurants.

    I can't get through a day without …
    Splenda.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My team.

    In high school, I was …
    Carefully plotting my ascent to the THR 100.      

    What's your hidden talent?
    It was well-hidden early on, and I’m still trying to locate it.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Genghis Khan. Alive.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Lew Wasserman in the Universal commissary.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Yes, I saw it about six months ago. And I liked it, despite being Aaron Burr’s first cousin [several times removed]. 

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    Channing Dungey

    President, ABC Entertainment

    David Livingston/Getty Images

    Since becoming the first African-American woman ever tapped to lead a Big Four broadcast network in February, Dungey, 47, has exercised her power by slashing seven series, including surprises Nashville and Castle, and adding new ones centered on overweight housewives and talking dogs.

    BIG WIN Her new gig, especially given her lack of noncreative experience.

    BIG BET This year, she'll get her first shot at architecting ABC's development slate.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    I still depend on contacts and glasses because I have an irrational fear of Lasik. 

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Caffeine in the morning. Preferably a chai tea latte, but a cup of green tea is good too.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Either my husband or my sister, depending on the situation. 

    What's your hidden talent?
    I can sleep anywhere, at any time — five quiet minutes, and I'm out. This is both a hidden talent and a superpower.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My maternal grandmother. From everything I've ever heard, I think she and I would be kindred spirits. 

  46. 55
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    Glenn Geller 

    President, CBS Entertainment

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Elevated to CBS' top programming job last summer, Geller, 44, now is one of TV's highest-profile buyers, scooping up down-the-middle multicamera comedies and procedurals in his bid to maintain both boss Leslie Moonves' confidence in him and CBS' status as the most-watched network.

    BIG WIN His new gig.

    BIG BET A MacGyver reboot.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without …
    Half a case of Diet Pepsi and a couple of Diet Mountain Dews.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Leslie Moonves.

    In high school, I was …
    A band and choir geek. Not much has changed.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I help a lot of friends with their remodeling issues.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My grandparents. I would ask all the questions today that I never thought to ask back then. My grandma had amazing stories. And even better five-layer Jell-O.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My first boss, Fred Silverman. I admired him, and he scared the shit out of me.

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    Dwayne Johnson

    Actor/producer

    Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

    The 44-year-old former pro wrestler had a rocky transition into film but has found his groove: a steady gig with the Fast & Furious franchise (Furious 7 grossed $1.5 billion) and plenty of work in disaster films (San Andreas and its planned sequel) and action flicks (he'll star in Shane Black's Doc Savage).

    BIG WIN Ballers is HBO's most-watched half-hour since 2009, with nearly 9 million viewers a week.

    BIG BET Baywatch (May 2017).

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My caffeine, my business plan, my morning kisses from my girls and some form of inappropriate videos online that make me laugh.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My gut.

    In high school, I was …
    Mistaken as an undercover cop. True story.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I'm a great kisser, according to my dog. 

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    Chuck Lorre

    Executive producer

    Michael Kovac/Getty Images

    Warner Bros. and CBS' 63-year-old golden boy may have a diminished roster with Mike & Molly off the air, but his résumé of successive billion-dollar comedies is hard to beat.

    BIG WIN The Big Bang Theory holds steady as TV's top comedy after nine seasons.

    BIG BET His untitled pot comedy is expected to go to series at Netflix.

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    Judd Apatow

    Director/producer

    Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

    The 48-year-old comedy kingmaker (HBO's Girls, Netflix's Love) helmed last summer's Trainwreck and is producing The Big Sick, currently shooting in New York with stars Kumail Nanjiani, Holly Hunter and Zoe Kazan.

    BIG WIN Trainwreck solidified Amy Schumer's star status and nabbed two Golden Globe nominations.

    BIG BET HBO's Crashing, about a comic whose wife leaves him.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    I live with three women.

    I can't get through a day without …
    Going on Twitter. But so far, I’ve gone two days. Let’s see if I can ween myself off of it.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Leslie Mann; my manager, Jimmy Miller; and my agent, David Kramer.

    In high school, I was …
    Doing everything I could to meet comedians and learn about comedy.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I wish I had one. I’m exploiting them all as much as possible. I don’t even know if I have a non-hidden talent.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    F. Scott Fitzgerald. I feel he’d have a lot of tales to tell and a lot of wisdom. And he certainly could warn me about what not to do.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Totie Fields, a very famous comedian in the ’70s. My grandmother was friends with her. I used to go see her perform at Westbury Music Fair. She was the first person I met who was doing comedy and seemed to be living a very exciting life.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    I have. Two times. I’m trying to decide whether to go a third time. But it’s a choice between sending my kid to college or Stubhub.

    What's the most ridiculous thing you’ve bought since becoming powerful?
    I leased a Porsche after 40-Year-Old Virgin was a hit. Then I was too scared to drive it and left it in the garage for two years.

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    David Zaslav

    President/CEO, Discovery Communications

    Cindy Ord/Getty Images

    He's no Hollywood insider, but Zaslav, 56, presides over a content behemoth (7,000 employees worldwide) with a market capitalization of $11.8 billion.

    BIG WIN Discovery's $1.44 billion Olympic play, which extends through 2024 and includes all multiplatform rights, marks the first time European coverage has been sold to one company.

    BIG BET Several OTT service launches (Discovery GO in the U.S. and Dplay and Eurosport Player in Europe) may be test cases for more to come.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without …
    A steady stream of news and analysis on the media industry. I’ve been in the business for three decades, yet I can never get enough. You have to have intellectual ambition and knowledge to make informed decisions and set smart strategies.

    In high school, I was …
    A complete and total tennis junkie. I played all day, all summer long. I love the sport to this day and enjoy attending the French and U.S. Opens every year.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My grandparents. They emigrated from Eastern Europe (Warsaw and Odessa) with nothing at all and built a life here. Now that I am older, I would love to hear more about all the obstacles they faced, how they fought and ultimately persevered. I’d also like to show them what they made possible by coming here and that with the luck and success I’ve had, anything is possible in America.

  51. 50
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    Ben Affleck

    Actor/director/producer

    Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

    At 43, he's the rare global movie star who doubles as an Oscar-winning filmmaker. And Warner Bros. considers him family: He'll direct crime thriller Live by Night after starring in October's The Accountant.

    BIG WIN Even if Batman v. Superman underwhelmed (if $873 million is underwhelming), he's still Batman.

    BIG BET He'll write and direct a stand-alone Batman entry.

  52. 49
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    Arnon Milchan

    Chairman, New Regency

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    Just a year and a half ago, things were looking pretty bleak for New Regency Pictures, the Fox-based production and financing company owned by Arnon Milchan. Rumors were swirling about the spiraling cost of The Revenant; insiders were speculating about whether another Regency investment, The Big Short, could ever make money; and whether Milchan, 71, a billionaire who started in the chemical business and has investments including Puma sportswear, was too focused on his other companies to pay attention to film.

    But on Christmas Day 2015, Revenant opened to strong reviews on its way to 12 Oscar nominations and $533 million at the global box office. Two weeks previous, Paramount had released The Big Short, which went on to earn five nominations and gross $133 million worldwide. Coming on the heels of the Milchan-financed Birdman and 12 Years a Slave — best picture Oscar winners in 2015 and 2014, respectively, both joint ventures with Fox Searchlight — it was clear the Israel-born mogul was back on top.

    Read the full story here.

     

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    Mark Burnett

    President, MGM TV and Digital Group

    Noam Galai/WireImage/Getty Images

    Signing a new five-year contract and assuming control of a blossoming roster in 2015, Burnett, 55, remains one of the top producers in TV with reality flagships (Survivor, The Voice and Shark Tank) on three of the Big Four networks.

    BIG WIN Facing a publicity and production nightmare with the exit of Donald Trump, Burnett successfully courted Arnold Schwarzenegger to salvage The Celebrity Apprentice.

    BIG BET August's big-budget Paramount/MGM redo of Ben Hur, from Burnett and wife Roma Downey's faith-focused LightWorkers Media.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Prayer.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Roma [Downey].

    In high school, I was …
    Highly motivated.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Jesus.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    President Obama.

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    Lorne Michaels

    Executive producer, 'Saturday Night Live'

    Teresa Kroeger/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    At 71, the SNL impresario has become irreplaceable in his fifth decade at NBC, shepherding the Tonight transition, overseeing Late Night With Seth Meyers and most recently launching variety hour Maya and Marty and a slew of specials.

    BIG WIN Adele's concert special, which made NBC the envy of every exec in broadcast, cable and streaming.

    BIG BET Fall is crucial for SNL, which lives or dies by its election coverage.

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    Dick Wolf 

    Executive producer

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Few would object if NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt announced he'd be changing the network logo from a peacock to a headshot of Wolf, 69, the hitmaker who will add his fifth series to the net's schedule next season.

    BIG WIN Stalwart Law & Order: SVU was the only network series to add viewers in the adults 18-to-49 demographic this past season.

    BIG BET A Law & Order true crime series, with its first season centered on the Menendez brothers.

    ***

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Cliff Gilbert-Lurie and Rick Rosen.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Hiring obsessive people.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Leonardo da Vinci.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My father.

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    Ellen DeGeneres 

    Talk show host/producer

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    DeGeneres, 58, has parlayed her daytime success into a producing empire (see HGTV's Ellen's Design Challenge). A go-to awards show emcee, she's also the voice behind Pixar's record-breaking sequel Finding Dory.

    BIG WIN Her company launched the biggest reality breakout in five years with NBC's Little Big Shots.

    BIG BET Her Ellen Digital Network has a sprawling original slate featuring YouTube giant Tyler Oakley.

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    Josh Sapan and Charlie Collier

    President/CEO, AMC Networks; President/GM, AMC

    WireImage/ Getty Images

    Stable amid cable ratings implosions, Collier, 46, and 65-year-old Sapan's flagship still boasts TV's top series (The Walking Dead), a growing number of thriving successors and the lingering cachet of being the biggest ad-supported player in premium content.

    BIG WIN Fear the Walking Dead had the biggest launch in cable history.

    BIG BET The pressure is on for a full-blown hit not tied to a pre-existing franchise.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    SAPAN Submission to the will and whims of my dog.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    SAPAN Meditating.
    COLLIER Someone mistaking me for Josh Sapan.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    COLLIER Tom Hagen.

    In high school, I was …
    COLLIER Living in London, watching the '86 World Series in the middle of the night and counting on returning to a decade-long Mets dynasty.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    COLLIER Living. Commas are powerful too.

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    Chris Meledandri

    CEO, Illumination Entertainment

    Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

    After Universal lured him away from Fox in 2007, Meledandri turned 2010's Despicable Me into a lucrative franchise, with last summer's Minions scoring $1.16 billion to become the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time (behind Frozen). He's influencing the animation world by producing big hits at a fraction of the price that films often cost at Pixar or DreamWorks Animation.

    BIG WIN 2016 marks the first time the 57-year-old will release two films in one year: The Secret Life of Pets (July 8) and Sing (Dec. 21).

    BIG BET He'll have oversight of DreamWorks Animation after NBCU's $3.87 billion acquisition is complete.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My producing partner, Janet Healy.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Skip Brittenham.

    In high school, I was …
    Very happy.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I don’t have enough talent to hide any of it.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My father, who died when I was 21.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Steve Ross, whom I met when I was 17.

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    Nancy Dubuc

    President/CEO, A+E Networks

    Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Despite sizable ratings drops across the A+E portfolio, Dubuc, 47, can take credit for her company's impressive valuation, now estimated at $26 billion. An agent of change (she transformed History from a musty doc channel to a destination for quality scripted content), she led the company's acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Vice Media and the launch in February of Viceland.

    BIG WIN Increased ownership of her networks' programming, including critical hits Roots and UnREAL.

    BIG BET Viceland, which isn't rated by Nielsen, is still is a work in progress.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Every time I'm the only woman in the room. It happens too frequently. 

    I can't get through a day without …
    A good laugh. 

    Who's your most important adviser?
    I'm fortunate to have many. Competitors, people in other businesses and childhood friends. Different points of view is the most important thing to me. 

    In high school, I was …
    A woeful underachiever

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Alexander Hamilton. He's everywhere today and ignited a conversation about our country and our history. We've always known he was cool. I'm curious about his thoughts on the impact of the Constitution in today’s political climate.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Jimmy Carter on the set of This Old House.

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    John Skipper

    President, ESPN and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks

    Allen Berezovsky/WireImage/Getty Images

    Subscriber losses (7.2 million in the past three years, according to Nielsen) and league fee hikes (ESPN pays close to $5 billion annually to its league partners including the NFL, MLB and the NBA) notwithstanding, ESPN remains the world's most profitable media brand, earning $4  billion annually in a unit responsible for more than 50 percent of parent company Disney's value.

    BIG WIN Skipper, 60, has led the charge to make ESPN a multiplatform brand with a series of WatchESPN apps as well as deals with cord-cutter services including Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

    BIG BET The shuttering of Bill Simmons' Grantland last October (six months after parting ways with Simmons) may have generated more headlines than the May 17 launch of The Undefeated, a new vertical dubbed "Black Grantland." But the site, led by well-regarded former Washington Post editor Kevin Merida, has received critical praise for its deft handling of the intersection of race, culture and sports.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without …
    Waking.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    William Faulkner, preferably alive. Him, I mean. Me too, of course. 

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My mom.  This was really early, maybe .001 or so.  

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    Brad Grey and Rob Moore

    Chairman/CEO; Vice chairman, Paramount Pictures

    Allen Berezovsky/WireImage/Getty Images

    Even amid one of the most epic leadership battles in recent memory — over parent company Viacom — Grey (right), 58, and Moore, 53, put on a good game face: The studio recently signed a deal with Leonardo DiCaprio and reupped pacts with Martin Scorsese and Michael Bay.

    BIG WIN Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation earned $682 million worldwide in 2015, defying naysayers.

    BIG BET Three Transformers movies are in the works.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without …
    GREY Green tea.
    MOORE Eating gummy bears.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    GREY Bob Daly and Jerry Perenchio.
    MOORE Skip Brittenham

    What's your hidden talent?
    GREY I can play the piano by ear.
    MOORE I can hit a golf ball 300 yards.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    GREY Bernie Brillstein.
    MOORE Vin Scully, who never helped fulfill my dream of being a Dodgers announcer.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    GREY Frank Sinatra. In 1979, I met him while producing his concert with Harvey Weinstein in Buffalo.
    MOORE President Obama

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    GREY Once, when it first came to Broadway.
    MOORE Once, on Broadway.

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    Brad Pitt

    Actor/producer

    Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

    Pitt, 52, actually is more powerful as a producer than he is as a movie star (and he's still a marquee name as an actor). His Plan B, run with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, is adding more TV, including the Ryan Murphy anthology Feud, to his production résumé and next he stars as a French-Canadian World War II spy in Robert Zemeckis' Allied (Nov. 23).

    BIG WIN He produced 2016 best picture nominee The Big Short as well as 2014 winner 12 Years a Slave.

    BIG BET War Machine, a Netflix comedy feature about the not-very-funny Afghan war.

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    Jack Gao

    Group vice president/CEO, international investments and operations, Wanda Cultural Industrial Group

    Courtesy of Subject

    One of Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin's trusted deputies, Gao, 57, was instrumental in negotiating Wanda's $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, which marked the first time a Chinese company had bought a U.S. studio responsible for global tentpole productions. His cross-border acumen has helped inspire the next generation of Chinese business leaders; his 2003 book Experience Microsoft, about his tenure at the company, was a popular read among China's tech community. If Wanda ever makes a play for one of the six U.S. studios, as many have speculated it someday will, Gao will be at the negotiating table.

    BIG WIN Legendary's first release under Wanda, Warcraft, opened to $156 million in China, more than six times its U.S. debut.

    BIG BET Wanda's Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, a $10 billion wager that China will be a hotspot for production and distribution, is set to open in 2018.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    An 8-mile run every morning.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Chairman Wang.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Ability to combat jet lag in no time.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Henry Kissinger.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    A cookie to go. I’m always on the road so the world is my commissary, and unfortunately, I usually start with the wrong side: the sweets.

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    Shonda Rhimes

    Executive producer

    Getty Images

    Rhimes, 46, already owns Thursdays on ABC, with the network's chief noting recently that a fifth Shondaland drama, Still Star-Crossed, will require adding a second night for the prolific creator. She's also an author (Year of Yes).

    BIG WIN Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder rounded out the season as top 10 series in the key demo.

    BIG BET Still Star-Crossed is her first period drama.

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    Jeremy Zimmer, David Kramer and Jay Sures

    CEO; Managing directors, United Talent Agency

    Austin Hargrave

    With the guidance of co-founders Jim Berkus and Peter Benedek, Zimmer (center), 58, has grown the agency, if not to the size of its private equity-backed rivals WME and CAA, into the town's only other genuinely full-service shop. The film group led by Kramer (left), 47, has A-list stars (Channing Tatum) and filmmakers (Alfonso Cuaron) while the TV group under Sures, 49, has creators (Chuck Lorre) and, especially since its 2014 acquisition of New York's N.S. Bienstock, broadcasters (Anderson Cooper).

    BIG WIN A once-unthinkable raid of 12 CAA agents last year added stars including Will Ferrell and Chris Pratt.

    BIG BET Will selling a stake last year to investor Jeffrey Ubben allow UTA to grow?

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life? 
    SURES Making breakfast and cleaning up after my three daughters.
    ZIMMER My ability to change other people.

    Who's your most important adviser? 
    KRAMER My brother. He's an entrepreneur outside of the industry, yet he understands business and human nature and sees things very clearly. Perfectly unbiased advice.
    SURES Jeffrey Katzenberg. He told me that whatever I was going to do inevitably I should do immediately.

    In high school, I was … 
    KRAMER Busy writing and submitting unsolicited movie reviews to my local paper.
    ZIMMER A truant.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    KRAMER Legendary TV producer David Wolper. I was a production assistant on a TV movie he produced in Atlanta after my junior year in college.
    SURES Peter Guber, via mail.

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    Sue Kroll, Toby Emmerich and Greg Silverman

    President, worldwide marketing and distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures; President and COO, New Line Cinema; President, creative development and worldwide production, Warner Bros. Pictures

    Randy Shropshire/Getty Images; Randy Shropshire/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

    Warner Bros. chairman Kevin Tsujihara's greenlight committee presides over a slate that's been plagued by disappointments. But three solid hits in a row this summer (Central Intelligence, The Conjuring 2 and Me Before You, all from New Line) are welcome news.

    BIG WIN Batman v. Superman grossed $873 million (but not the expected $1 billion).

    BIG BET Aug. 5's DC supervillain play Suicide Squad.

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    Ryan Murphy

    Writer/executive producer

    Getty Images

    Murphy, 51, followed a Lady Gaga-fronted season of ratings stalwart American Horror Story with The People v. O.J. Simpson, which quickly became the biggest series in FX history. But as important as Murphy’s ability to continually nab series orders (up next: anthology drama Feud starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange) is his unparalleled knack for luring stars (Julia Roberts in The Normal Heart, John Travolta in O.J., Jamie Lee Curtis in Scream Queens). 

    BIG WIN Murphy's take on O.J. had every other network exec green with envy.

    BIG BET American Crime Story's new season centers on Hurricane Katrina.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Two children under 3½ throwing up on my clothes. 

    I can't get through a day without …
    Reading to my children and going on 1stdibs.com. It’s a furniture site, and it’s my addiction.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    I have seven. The two I speak to almost every day about my career are Dana Walden and Joe Cohen, and then the other five I rely on very heavily are: Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, Peter Rice, John Landgraf and Gary Newman. 

    In high school, I was …
    Both popular and a gay theater nerd. I was always two people, which has served me well.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Going after actors for my projects who everyone says, "Oh, they'll never do that," and then not giving up until they do.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Tennessee Williams. I'd want to talk about his writing process and how he cast all of his stage productions.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Steven Spielberg. He bought my first script. My very first meeting in Hollywood was with [him]. 

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    Robert Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke

    Chairman; President, NBC Entertainment

    Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images; Fred Hayes/Getty Images

    Sure, NBC lost its No. 1 status to a Super Bowl-boosted CBS this season, but the onetime ratings basement-dweller now outperforms its other broadcast rivals thanks to a schedule overseen by Greenblatt, 55, and trusted ally Salke, 52, that includes The Voice, Blindspot, a slew of Dick Wolf dramas and football.

    BIG WIN Revival of the live musical format, now copied across the network dial.

    BIG BET Hot new fall prestige drama This Is Us.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    GREENBLATT Looking after the daily constitutions of a 95-pound Doberman.

    I can't get through a day without …
    SALKE Talking to my three kids.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    GREENBLATT Peter Chernin.
    SALKE Dana Walden. She's a very close friend and colleague, but also a fantastic working mom who has helped me navigate many issues. Bob Greenblatt, who has been a longtime friend and advisor, and my husband, Bert, who isn't too bad either. All are big supporters. 

    In high school, I was …
    GREENBLATT A popular drama nerd.
    SALKE Rebellious. 

    What's your hidden talent?
    SALKE Mediating disagreements and providing a calm and measured influence. 

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    GREENBLATT Louis B. Mayer
    SALKE My amazing dad. He passed away this year and was a huge role model and supporter. I'd do anything to spend more time with him. 

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    GREENBLATT Aaron Spelling.

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    Tom Rothman

    Chairman, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

    Photographed By Austin Hargrave

    When he moved to the helm at Sony's TriStar after being ousted as co-chairman of Fox's film studio, Rothman, 61, took a cut in pay and status. But the move paid off when he won Amy Pascal's slot after the Sony hack. Now he's putting together his executive team and betting heavily on the international market in a bid to revive the flagging studio.

    BIG WIN Installing ally Sanford Panitch as president of Columbia Pictures.

    BIG BET The $100 million-plus Passengers (Dec. 21) with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt is the first film Rothman greenlighted.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without …
    Diet Coke.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Steven Spielberg.

    In high school, I was …
    A jock.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Believe it or not, I was a very good lacrosse player.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Oscar Wilde and Johnny Unitas together.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was my law professor at Columbia.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    What’s Hamilton? Just kidding. I’ve seen it once on Broadway.

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    David Nevins

    CEO, Showtime Networks

    Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

    Officially upped to CEO in January, the 50-year-old exec and Leslie Moonves favorite continues to see successes (the drama Billions was the top pay cable launch of the year) as he refines his strategy: tiered premieres and more documentary fare in an effort to have originals in constant rotation.

    BIG WIN An OTT service for noncable subscribers is expected to generate an incremental $400 million during its first five years.

    BIG BET David Lynch's 2017 revisit to Twin Peaks.

  71. 30
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    John Landgraf

    CEO, FX  Networks

    Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Informally dubbed the mayor of television, the 54-year-old revolutionized the cable comedy model (allowing talent to profit alongside the network) and birthed the anthology format with franchises including FargoAmerican Horror Story and American Crime Story. Landgraf's 2015 speech about "peak TV" created not simply a buzz word but a larger and now widely adopted narrative for the industry.

    BIG WIN The People v. O.J. Simpson has become basic cable's No. 1 series for the year.

    BIG BET Marvel series Legion from Fargo's Noah Hawley and a Sons of Anarchy spinoff. Plus, season two of American Crime Story centered on Hurricane Katrina.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    The second law of thermodynamics.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I play the flute (yes, like Ron Burgundy).

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Someone dead. And I’d have lots of questions ...

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Rabbi Harvey J. Fields.

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    Ben Sherwood

    Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC TV Group

    Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images

    Sherwood's portfolio includes 24,000 hours of programming a year, and he has doubled down on a diversity mandate (ABC's Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, Disney Channel's Elena of Avalor). Still, ABC fielded no breakout hits last season and Good Morning America lost its ratings crown in the key demo.

    BIG WIN A year and a half into the job, the 52-year-old has successfully increased diversity behind the scenes as well, including promoting Channing Dungey, the first African-American woman to lead a broadcast entertainment division.

    BIG BET Finding a Michael Strahan replacement who can deliver Strahan-sized ratings to Live With Kelly and …

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Scrambling to keep up with my sons, Will (11 years old) and Charlie (5 years old).

    I can't get through a day without …
    Sending a birthday tweet.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Karen Kehela Sherwood.

    In high school, I was …
    Either in the library or watching too much TV, like Happy Days or Mork & Mindy.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Magic shows for toddlers.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My mom, Dee — a true force of nature, then and now.  

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    Jeffrey Katzenberg

    CEO, Dreamworks Animation

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    The good news: He sold his company to NBCUniversal for a hefty $3.87 billion. The bad news: The 65-year-old exec is out once the deal closes, presumably this year. Still, he retains — for now at least — the type of political, philanthropic, and about-town first-name-only clout that few other execs can claim. His political activism and skill at charity fundraising add to his clout.

    BIG WIN Katzenberg will net $420  million from the sale.

    BIG BET DWA's AwesomenessTV could become part of his next act. Do not look for him to retire. Ever.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Having to wait in line like everybody else for the No. 19 at Langer’s.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Diet Coke. Duh, everybody knows that.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Just like Charlie, I'm lucky to have three angels: my wife, Marilyn; Mellody [Hobson, chairman of DWA Board]; and Ann [Daly, DWA president].  

    In high school, I was …
    Dysfunctional and incompetent.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I don't get jet lag.  

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    President Xi Jinping and Steve Jobs.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    My mom.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Yes, three times.

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    Jon Feltheimer

    CEO, Lionsgate Entertainment

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images

    The 64-year-old executive credited with transforming the Canadian company into Hollywood’s most successful independent studio now faces the task of righting its film arm, which needs a franchise to fill the hole left by The Hunger Games (the Divergent series isn't it). Lionsgate TV is in better shape than the film side despite the end of Mad Men

    BIG WIN A three-season renewal for Orange Is the New Black on Netflix and finding a home for Nashville on CMT after ABC pulled the plug.

    BIG BET Power Rangers (March 24) and Oscar bait La La Land (Dec. 16).

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My ability to conjure box office grosses or television ratings.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    My espresso.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Laurie.

    In high school, I was …
    In the second-best rock band in the school out of two.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Classical guitar?

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    My dad.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Nelson Rockefeller, in the Virgin Islands.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    I saw it once on Broadway, but Lin-Manuela Miranda wasn’t performing that night.

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    Kevin Tsujihara

    Chairman/CEO, Warner Bros.

    Barry King/Getty Images

    During the three-year rule of Tsujihara, 51, his company's film studio has lost its standing as box-office leader thanks to a series of flops (Pan, Jupiter Ascending). Though TV and video game divisions helped to close the gap, fixing the DC film universe remains a top priority.

    BIG WIN Warner Bros. TV is producing 32 series for the 2016-17 season, with more shows on broadcast networks than any other studio.

    BIG BET Nov. 18's Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

  76. 25
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    Michael Lynton

    CEO, Sony  Entertainment

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images

    He's somewhat removed from Hollywood, but the fate of Sony's movie, TV and music divisions rests with the 56-year-old exec, who survived the 2014 hack and since has been fighting to right an unsteady ship, placing Tom Rothman at the helm of the film studio.

    BIG WIN Acquiring Michael Jackson's 50 percent stake in Sony/ATV for $750 million.

    BIG BET Handing TV operations to Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht in the wake of Steve Mosko's exit.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Walking my dog.

    I can't get through a day without …
    A cup of coffee.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Pele.

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    Richard Plepler and Casey Bloys

    CEO; President of programming, HBO

    John Medina/Getty Images for New York Times; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    Despite setbacks (Vinyl, True Detective) that led to the replacement in May of Michael Lombardo with Bloys, 44, the "crown jewel" of Time Warner — run since 2012 by Plepler, 57 — contributed 24 percent of the company's $8.1 billion 2015 EBITDA and continues to be a first stop for talent thanks to lavish budgets and awards pedigree.

    BIG WIN A record 43 primetime Emmys.

    BIG BET Bill Simmons' talker Any Given Wednesday (June 22).

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life? 
    PLEPLER Trying to stay current with my daughter's social media.

    I can't get through a day without …  
    PLEPLER My newspaper addiction, which involves reading more papers that probably necessary.

    Who's your most important adviser? 
    PLEPLER Not even close: my wife.

    In high school, I was … 
    PLEPLER Trying to pretend I was as good a tennis player as John McEnroe.

    The first powerful person I ever met was ...
    PLEPLER Teddy Kennedy in the early '70s, through family friends.

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    Jennifer Lawrence

    Actress

    Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

    At only 25, she's the highest-earning, most-sought-after actress in Hollywood, with four Oscar nominations and one win, for Silver Linings Playbook. Her essay in Lena Dunham's newsletter in October put a megaphone to the gender pay inequity discussion ("When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get angry," it begins).

    BIG WIN Adding $653 million to the Hunger Games haul with the final installment.

    BIG BET Her $20 million Passengers paycheck represents about 20 percent of the film's budget.

  79. 22
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    Oprah Winfrey

    CEO, OWN

    Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

    A self-made billionaire with unparalleled cultural and political cachet, Winfrey, 62, has seen her once-ailing OWN's ratings rise double digits thanks to a cadre of popular Tyler Perry shows. In June, her Broadway revival of The Color Purple, for which Winfrey serves as a producer, won a Tony.

    BIG WIN OWN now can claim momentum and prestige: a Winfrey vehicle (Greenleaf) debuted June 21 and an Ava DuVernay-directed show is in the works for fall.

    BIG BET Acting on Greenleaf.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Picking up poop. I have five dogs — gotta do it.

    In high school, I was …
    Voted "most popular." When I came home to tell my dad, he said, "Who was voted 'most likely to succeed'? That's the girl who's going places.” 

    What's your hidden talent?
    Counseling. I would have made a great therapist and saved patients a lot of time! 

  80. 21
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    J.J. Abrams

    Director/producer

    JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

    The go-to guy for breathing new life into franchises — Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Star Wars — Abrams, 49, also has a rich first-look deal at Paramount through 2018 and is known for making "secret" movies like the recent hit 10 Cloverfield Lane, which he produced. Abrams also is a prolific salesman in TV, having helped set up Showtime's Roadies and HBO's Westworld, among others.

    BIG WIN Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the third-biggest movie of all time.

    BIG BET The much-delayed Westworld. He produced Star Trek Beyond (July), handing the directing reins to Justin Lin, and he's keeping an eye on Rian Johnson, who's helming Star Wars: Episode VIII, due in 2017.

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    Kathleen Kennedy

    President, Lucasfilm

    Courtesy of Lucasfilm

    Kennedy, 63, fulfilled her mission of re-energizing one of the planet's most valuable franchises with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a juggernaut that pulled in more than $2 billion at the box office alone. She's now charged with managing the Star Wars franchise and relaunching Indiana Jones with a fifth film directed by longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford.

    BIG WIN See: $2 billion.

    BIG BET December's first Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One, which has undergone reshoots.

  82. 19
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    Richard Lovett, Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd

    Managing partners, CAA

    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Donato Sardella/Getty Images for W Magazine; George Pimentel/Getty Images

    The Young Turks have become the industry establishment. Lovett, 56, Huvane, 57, and Lourd, 55, run an 1,800-employee, 5,000-client mega-agency from the sleek "Death Star" building in Century City. With an industry-leading motion picture division (Jennifer Lawrence, J.J. Abrams), a TV unit that packaged Empire, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, dominant positions in music and sports and even a merchant bank (Evolution), CAA competes in each category of representation around the world. Since selling 52 percent of the agency to TPG Capital in 2014, CAA has failed to grow as quickly as archrival WME-IMG has as they both consider possible IPOs, but it's still a hugely influential company with its tentacles in every aspect of entertainment.

    BIG WIN CAA repped more Primetime Emmy nominees than any other agency.

    BIG BET Recent acquisitions in branding and sports.

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    HUVANE WTRMLN WTR.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    HUVANE My father.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    HUVANE Teddy Roosevelt.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    HUVANE Ed Koch.

  83. 18
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    Kevin Feige

    President, Marvel Studios

    Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

    Feige, 43, elevated the comic book movie to an art form (and a lucrative business model) that inspires devout followers and pale imitators. The rare auteur-producer, he also pioneered the "cinematic universe" model of sequels and spinoffs that has been mimicked throughout Hollywood.

    BIG WIN Even more impressive than Captain America: Civil War's $1.1 billion gross was Feige's wresting control of Marvel Studios from his longtime boss, CEO Ike Perlmutter; Feige now reports to Alan Horn.

    BIG BET Black Panther, the first big superhero film with a black star and director.

    ***

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Jack Kirby.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Lauren Shuler Donner.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Once.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    Mickey Waffles.

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    John Lasseter

    Chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Lasseter, 59, not only made Pixar into a powerhouse but also revived Disney's animation division with such hits as Frozen after the studio bought Pixar 10 years ago. Lasseter, who works alongside Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, is not a traditional suit (in fact he rarely wears them, preferring Hawaiian shirts) as he continues to write and direct (Cars 3 is slated for next year). And, as principal creative advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, he's a key driver in theme park innovation, merchandising and global pop culture.

    BIG WIN Pixar's Oscar winner Inside Out grossed $857 million, Disney Animation's Zootopia has racked up more than $1 billion worldwide, and Pixar's new hit Finding Dory could do the same.

    BIG BET November's Moana, featuring Dwayne Johnson and songs by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Being a farmer and growing grapes. Mother Nature is always in charge.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Buying something on the internet, my wife says.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Nancy.

    In high school, I was …
    A total art nerd.

    What's your hidden talent?
    I can be both engineer and fireman on a steam engine.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Walt Disney.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Steve Jobs.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Only once, but that’s OK because we get to work with Lin-Manuel Miranda weekly on Moana.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    Salmon over vegetables, with a side of tater tots.

  85. 16
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    Steven Spielberg

    Director/producer

    Getty Images

    Spielberg, 69, shored up his creative future this year as he partnered with Jeff Skoll to launch Amblin Partners with $800 million in equity and debt, including $50 million from the director-producer himself. With Universal distributing (Spielberg's offices never physically left the studio lot), Amblin will make family movies, adult fare under the DreamWorks banner and socially conscious films under the Participant Media name. In addition to being the most financially successful director ever, he also has had success in television as producer of such shows as the Peabody-winning The Americans.

    BIG WIN Megahit Jurassic World, which Spielberg executive produced, plus his directorial effort Bridge of Spies (six Oscar nominations and a win for Mark Rylance).

    BIG BET The BFG (July 1), then 2018's Ready Player One for Warner Bros.

  86. 15
    100

    Stacey Snider, Emma Watts and Jim Gianopulos

    Co-chairman; President of production; Chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox

    Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

    With her rise in the coming months to chairman and CEO (as Gianopulos, 64, moves into an undefined "strategic role"), Snider, 55, will preside over the second-hottest studio at the 2016 box office (after Disney). Watts, 46, has become the envy of many of her counterparts at rival studios thanks to hits like The Martian ($630 million).

    BIG WIN Deadpool ($778 million), another Watts film, is the top-grossing R-rated title ever.

    BIG BET Will the executive shakeup work out? Fox's future is all about the next Avatar films — and filmmaker James Cameron's strongest relationship at the studio is with Gianopulos.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    SNIDER I don’t think about my life in terms of power. I think about my life in terms of meaning.
    WATTS The list expands daily.
    GIANOPULOS Managing my really smart and independent daughters.

    I can't get through a day without …
    SNIDER Quiet time to think (and tea!).
    WATTS Many espressos.
    GIANOPULOS Sugar-free Red Bull. (I know, don't tell me.)

    Who's your most important adviser?
    SNIDER My husband, Gary Jones.
    WATTS Jonathan Krauss.
    GIANOPULOS My wife, Ann, who is amazing, beloved by all (and certainly by me) and always tells me the truth while making it easier to accept.

    In high school, I was …
    SNIDER A lot like I am today.
    WATTS Younger.
    GIANOPULOS In a Rolling Stones cover band (and unsuccessfully pretending to be Keith Richards).

    What's your hidden talent?
    SNIDER I can change from work clothes to sweats in record time.
    WATTS A really loud two-fingered whistle.
    GIANOPULOS I can discern meaning in half-a-dozen languages I don't speak.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    SNIDER Martin Luther King Jr.
    WATTS Vanessa Nadal and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
    GIANOPULOS Ernest Hemingway, and he could pick the place.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    SNIDER My teachers at Friends' Central School had the greatest influence on my life (after my parents). But, given their Quaker affiliation, they would not have considered themselves powerful. 
    WATTS Diane Von Furstenberg.
    GIANOPULOS My father, who overcame odds that still humble anything I've done. And also, the Queen of England (but not at the same time).

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    SNIDER Yes, off-Broadway and then on Broadway.
    WATTS Yes, I love it! I've been twice.
    GIANOPULOS Yes, I've seen Hamilton, and even managed to close my dropped jaw long enough to think of something to say to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I told him I had never experienced anything so exalted that so surpassed its expectation.

  87. 14
    100

    Bonnie Hammer

    Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment

    Gary Gershoff/WireImage/Getty Images

    New York-based Hammer, 65, may not devote much time to Hollywood schmoozing, but she runs 10 cable networks (USA, Syfy and Bravo, among them) and two studios that together are the largest profit contributor to NBCUniversal — $2.8 billion in 2015, her portfolio’s 12th straight year of growth.

    BIG WIN Mr. Robot, USA Network’s first serious awards contender.

    BIG BET An executive reshuffling that consolidates her networks under Chris McCumber and Frances Berwick.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    My adorable Leonberger puppy is currently in total control of my household, disrupting everything from my sleep schedule to the use of the vacuum cleaner to basic sanitary upkeep (don't ask). At 15 weeks old, he already thinks he's the den leader.

    In high school, I was …
    Captain of the cheerleading squad. It's a skill set I still find useful in rooting for my team — sometimes jumping up and down, but without the pompoms.

    What’s your hidden talent?
    The ability to convince people that what you'd like done was their idea all along.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I’d choose…
    Joan Rivers. Not only do I miss her humor, warmth and kindness, but nobody had more fun zinging the powers that be than she did. She'd be in her glory with the insanity of the current election cycle!

  88. 13
    100

    Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell 

    Co-CEOs, WME

    Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company

    Since WME's $2.4  billion acquisition of sports and fashion powerhouse IMG in 2014, Emanuel, 55, and Whitesell, 51 — backed by majority owner Silver Lake — have been on a buying spree, branching into businesses as diverse as Professional Bull Riders and Miss Universe (purchased from former client Donald Trump) and launching a new China venture with Sequoia and Tencent. Adam Venit’s film group has big stars (Ben Affleck, Emma Stone), and Rick Rosen's TV division reps top creators (Dick Wolf, Greg Berlanti), but it's WME’s diversification, size and the ambition of its hard-charging founders that set it apart from agency rivals.

    BIG WIN Softbank poured $250 million into WME-IMG in March, valuing the company at $5.5 billion.

    BIG BET Is a purchase of the UFC next?

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life? 
    WHITESELL Anyone who really knows me knows my wife and kids have the real power!

    I can't get through a day without …  
    EMANUEL Exercising.
    WHITESELL Finding something that genuinely makes me laugh.

    Who's your most important adviser? 
    EMANUEL My partners Patrick Whitesell, Egon Durban, David Geffen, Ron Perelman, Bob Kraft.
    WHITESELL Ari Emanuel, Egon Durban.

    In high school, I was … 
    EMANUEL A wrestler.

    What's your hidden talent? 
    EMANUEL My ADHD.
    WHITESELL Still searching for it.

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    Dana Walden and Gary Newman

    Co-CEOs and chairmen, Fox TV Group

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images

    Commanding one of the most prolific studios (27 series — including hot property Empire — on broadcast networks alone) and rebuilding a Fox network that just climbed out of fourth place, Walden, 51, and Newman, 62, are responsible for cable breakouts (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), top producers (Ryan Murphy, Seth MacFarlane) and north of $7 billion in revenue for parent 21st Century Fox (it doesn’t release profits).

    BIG WIN Synergy superstars Walden and Newman own 10 of the 11 scripted shows they just ordered to series.

    BIG BET 24 reboot Legacy in the post-Super Bowl slot.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    NEWMAN Our two little fluffy, white dogs.
    WALDEN The way I dress on weekends.

    I can't get through a day without …
    NEWMAN A conversation with my kids.
    WALDEN My tall, nonfat, half-sweetened green tea latte from Starbucks.

    Who's your most important adviser? 
    NEWMAN
    My partner, Dana, at work and my wife, Jeanne, at home.
    WALDEN My partner, Gary, and Ryan Murphy.

    In high school, I was …
    NEWMAN A jock.
    WALDEN A TV addict.

    What's your hidden talent?
    NEWMAN My shooting touch on the basketball court.
    WALDEN I can whistle really loudly. I'm the one everyone turns to when you need to quiet a room.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    NEWMAN A sandwich at the turn at Pinehurst with Ben Hogan.
    WALDEN My parents. Always.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    NEWMAN My dad. He could command respect and attention from us without ever raising his voice.
    WALDEN Lucie Salhany.

  90. 11
    100

    Jeff Shell, Donna Langley and Ron Meyer

    Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment; Chairman, Universal Pictures; Vice chairman, NBCU

    Getty Images

    In 2015, Universal's films scored an industry record $6.9 billion worldwide. For 2016, its leaders are counting on a strong second half beginning with The Secret Life of Pets (July 8). Meyer, 71, uses his longtime industry relationships to assist rising star Shell, 50, and Langley, 48, as he did on the deal to bring Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners into the fold. Langley will help manage the release and marketing of films from Spielberg's shop as well as franchises including Fifty Shades, Fast & Furious and Jason Bourne.

    "Every film is a business that you have to get up and off the ground and convince people to go and buy your product. You've got a giant set of distribution companies across the world in a morphing business, and then, at the core, you're making art and dealing with artists, and that's often a challenge," Shell tells THR. "TV has a rhythm. You have a pilot season, you have upfronts. There's no rhythm in the movie business; it's just every week or two weeks there's a movie to launch or greenlight or develop — and that's from now until the end of eternity."

    BIG WIN Jurassic World stomped to $1.67 billion worldwide after languishing for years in development.

    BIG BET Absorbing new purchase DreamWorks Animation into the studio's animation operation alongside Illumination and launching a monsters universe of films with Tom Cruise starrer The Mummy in June 2017.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    LANGLEY When Wi-Fi is not available.
    MEYER My children. I'm lucky when any of them listen to me.

    I can't get through a day without …
    LANGLEY Seeing my children.
    MEYER I’m going to regret saying this, but returning every email and phone call.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    LANGLEY
    At work, Jimmy Horowitz. In life, my husband.
    MEYER David Geffen.

    In high school, I was …
    LANGLEY Very happy.
    MEYER A complete f—-up. I dropped out of high school, and I never went to college.

    What's your hidden talent?
    MEYER I can box and shoot pool. I've played pool since I was 12 years old. I can hold my own against professionals and beat everybody else.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    LANGLEY Queen Victoria.
    MEYER Anwar Sadat.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    LANGLEY Yes, I saw it at The Public Theater before it went to Broadway.

    What is your go-to meal at your commissary?
    LANGLEY
    Chinese Chicken Salad, no modifications. As it comes.
    MEYER Chinese chicken salad. I like extra dressing. 

  91. 10
    100

    Leonardo DiCaprio

    Actor/producer

    Mike Windle/Getty Images

    He may be the last of the old-fashioned movie stars — or at least the last who can still open a non-franchise film on his own. The Revenant was practically a one-man show (except for brief appearances by Tom Hardy and the infamous bear) and yet it grossed $532 million globally, mostly because 41-year-old DiCaprio was in it. He also is making his mark as a philanthropist with a focus on environmental issues.

    BIG WIN His long-awaited Oscar, his first win in five nominations.

    BIG BET Taking time off from acting to make more environmental documentaries for Netflix — the last one, Virunga, got an Oscar nomination — as part of his multiyear, nonfiction partnership with the streaming company.

  92. 9
    100

    Alan Horn

    Chairman, Walt  Disney Studios

    John Shearer/Getty Images

    As one of the industry's elder statesmen, the 73-year-old Horn is the perfect man to oversee the Disney silos: Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney Animation and Pixar. This past year, his prize project was The Jungle Book ("I've loved Kipling's Jungle Book since I was 10 years old, and the opportunity to marry that with The Walt Disney interpretation from 1967 was irresistible," he tells THR). He got the film on track at Disney (beating his former studio home, Warner Bros., which delayed its own version) and watched a $922 million gross roll in.

    BIG WIN Alice Through the Looking Glass aside, Disney may have four billion-dollar grossers in 2016: Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

    BIG BET Can Pete's Dragon (Aug. 12) continue the remake hot streak?

    ***

    I can't get through a day without … 
    Two cups of coffee in the morning.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My wife, Cindy.

    In high school, I was …
    Working.

    What's your hidden talent?
    Humor.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Abraham Lincoln.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    Jerry Perenchio.

    Have you seen Hamilton and how many times?
    Yes, once.

  93. 8
    100

    Peter Rice

    Chairman and CEO, Fox  Networks Group

    Mike Windle/Getty Images

    Rice, 49, the top Fox executive not named Murdoch, oversees its broadcast and cable channels, TV studio, sports networks and international TV operation. Rice's portfolio delivered about two-thirds of Fox's revenue in 2015 and is a top priority of James and Lachlan, who've known the 30-year Fox veteran for decades. Adding to his influence, Rice is rumored as a possible replacement for Bob Iger at Disney due to his background in film (he once ran Fox Searchlight) and his current TV duties.

    BIG WIN The acquisition of National Geographic Partners gives Rice a new stream of prestige content.

    BIG BET Super Bowl LI will be his second swing at TV's top annual event.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life? 
    My son's calculus homework.

    I can't get through a day without …  
    My wife, Megan.

    Who's your most important adviser? 
    Rupert.

    The first powerful person I met was … 
    On my first day, in literally my first hour, as a 20-year-old intern at Fox, I met Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Bill Duke and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who strode into Cynthia Wick's office smoking cigars and pointed intimidatingly at me, her new intern, demanding that I go see "Pre-date-tor." I went to the movie [Predator], realized that "I ain't got time to bleed," and was hooked on Hollywood as a career path. Thank you, Jesse, Bill, Arnold and Cynthia. 

  94. 7
    100

    Jeff Bewkes

    Chairman and CEO, Time Warner

    Francois G. Durand/Getty Images

    Bewkes, 64, has streamlined the company, which includes Turner Broadcasting, HBO and Warner Bros., spinning off units and refocusing on content. Still, Warners faces ongoing struggles (its effort to launch a DC Comics universe with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice underwhelmed despite grossing $873 million worldwide. TBS and TNT (which are rebuilding their original programming brands under Kevin Reilly) face ratings challenges and HBO still is struggling to dig out of a creative fallow period with Game of Thrones, its lone drama hit. His board in January gave Bewkes a critical vote of confidence, extending his contract three more years through 2020.

    BIG WIN The $15-a-month HBO Now and a series of successful OTT launches in international markets have positioned the company for global expansion.

    BIG BET Warners' health hinges on the DC tentpoles, with Suicide Squad coming in August and back-to-back Justice League movies now shooting.

  95. 6
    100

    Shari Redstone and Sumner Redstone

    President, national amusements, and vice chair, Viacom and CBS Boards; Chairman emeritus, Viacom and CBS Corp.

    Michael Tran/FilmMagic; Amanda Edwards/WireImage

    If anyone seems positioned to come out on top of the Redstone soap opera, it's Shari, 62, who has proven herself a cagey strategist — just like her father.

    BIG WIN In May, Sumner, 93, and Shari squeezed Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman from the board of National Amusements — which controls both Viacom (home of Paramount, MTV and Comedy Central) and CBS — and hampered Dauman's plan to sell off a portion of the film studio.

    BIG BET Dauman is suing, so the Redstones haven't won yet. Some speculate that Shari would like to see Viacom and CBS recombined (with CBS' Leslie Moonves running the merged company), a scheme that could dramatically increase her power.

  96. 5
    100

    Ted Sarandos

    Chief content officer, Netflix

    Mike Windle/Getty Images

    As one agency partner noted, there isn't a meal in Hollywood where Netflix isn't discussed. Sarandos, 51, whose rise to the upper echelon of this list would have been unthinkable before the premiere of his first big-swing series House of Cards in 2013, raised the ante for output this year with a $5 billion content budget. In the process, he has upended the TV ecosystem and turned Netflix into perhaps the most sought-after destination for creators who want big budgets and bigger creative freedoms. Now the company, which delivers $6.8 billion in annual revenue (but a small fraction of that in profit), looks to do the same in film with projects from Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler.

    BIG WIN More than 600 hours of programming will roll out this year for 81 million-plus global subscribers.

    BIG BET Brad Pitt's $60 million feature War Machine later this year.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    I just bought my first new car in 12 years.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    My father-in-law, Clarence Avant.

    In high school, I was …
    Editor of the school newspaper.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Brandon Tartifkoff.

    The first powerful person I ever met was …
    In 1992, I worked on Jerry's Brown campaign and got to know him back then. 

  97. 4
    100

    Steve Burke

    CEO, NBCUniversal and senior executive vp, Comcast Corp.

    Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    Burke, 57, steers a global behemoth ($6.4 billion in operating cash flow, up 15 percent in 2015) that's bucking the downward trend of old media — though NBCU's cable portfolio continues to struggle. Major investments in film led to a record 2015, including megahits Jurassic World and Furious 7, and NBC continues to top broadcast in the key 18-to-49 demo.

    BIG WIN Since the Comcast acquisition in 2011, NBCUniversal cash flow has doubled. On a more granular level, Burke has deftly managed delicate, at times thorny talent issues, including the transition from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams' demotion at NBC News and Steven Spielberg's return to Universal Pictures.

    BIG BET The planned $3.87 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, which would put classic DreamWorks franchises such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda under one roof with Universal's Minions and Despicable Me, while conferring a massive competitive shot against rival Walt Disney Co., not just in films but in merchandising and theme park tie-ins. The deal received Department of Justice approval June 21.

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Fly fishing in Montana.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Brian Roberts.

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    Leslie Moonves

    President and CEO, CBS Corp.

    Jemal Countess/Getty Images

    The hands-on overlord of CBS Corp. has seen his company's stock rise 12 percent this year as its broadcast network rounded out the most recent season No. 1 in total viewers for the 13th time in 14 seasons thanks to a slate of broad hits including NCIS, Survivor and The Big Bang Theory. As Sumner Redstone's other company, Viacom, has spiraled, CBS posted record first-quarter results, with revenue and operating income up 10 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Additionally, Moonves, 66, has been aggressively expanding Showtime's international and streaming reach under cable chief David Nevins, and is beefing up CBS' own All Access streaming service. He jokes that he can't get through the day without "using a quote from The Godfather."

    BIG WIN Hand-plucking then-largely unknown James Corden as CBS' newest Late Late Show host.

    BIG BET Can All Access be a contender with 2017 series Star Trek and a Good Wife spinoff?

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    Hanging out with my 6-year-old son.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    Joe Ianniello. [COO, CBS Corp.]

    In high school, I ...
    Didn't stand out in any way.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    Muhammad Ali.

  99. 2
    100

    James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch

    CEO; Executive chairman; Executive chairman, 21st Century Fox

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Rupert, 85, handed the reins to sons James, 43, and Lachlan, 44, last summer with minimal drama. Now, the hard part: growing an entertainment behemoth that includes film and TV studios; the Fox network, Fox News, FX and Fox Sports; a stake in Hulu; and a share of the Sky pay TV services throughout Europe — all of which generated $29 billion in revenue and $6.7 billion in profit in fiscal 2015. The breadth and diversity of the Murdoch empire make James and Lachlan the most influential media executives who haven’t announced their retirement. Their early moves include buying the National Geographic brand and network and focusing on sharpening TV audience measurement. Time will tell if they prove as visionary as their father, but they have a far better platform than he did from which to start.

    BIG WIN The Viacom trainwreck reveals just how smooth the Fox succession has been.

    BIG BET Elevating Stacey Snider to run the 20th Century Fox film studio when it was chugging along under Jim Gianopulos. Another initiative, say the brothers in a joint email: "Changing the game for IP streaming customers."

    ***

    What's the least powerful thing about your life?
    JAMES & LACHLAN The tyranny of distance.

    I can't get through a day without … 
    JAMES & LACHLAN Changing something.

    Who's your most important adviser?
    JAMES & LACHLAN Our families and each other.

    If I could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, I'd choose …
    JAMES & LACHLAN We’d choose Julius Caesar, of course.

  100. 1
    100

    Bob Iger

    Chairman and CEO, Walt Disney Co.

    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    Bob Iger is showing off pictures he recently took of food. "We've got a Szechuan chicken burger, a Peking duck pizza shaped in a Mickey head," he says in a demeanor one might call "CEO giddy," as animated as one of the most polished leaders in corporate America gets. "There's something called siu mai dumplings that are Shanghainese — they're tremendous!" Seated in a conference room adjacent to his office at the Walt Disney Co. headquarters in Burbank, Iger scrolls his iPad through dozens of photos shot during one of his twice-monthly visits to the new Shanghai Disney theme park. What about a churro stand? "Believe it or not, yes," he says. "I've tasted all the food at the park. Except I haven't tasted the turkey legs yet."

    Iger, 65, is chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, which has named him the most powerful person in entertainment for his shrewd management of the world's largest media company. This is just a few days before he took off on his most important trip to China, to christen the $5.5 billion park with leaders of the country's communist party. Tragically, the day before the opening ceremony, Iger received news that 2-year-old Lane Graves was snatched and killed by an alligator in a lagoon at Disney's Orlando resort. The horror hit the CEO and father of four (including two sons with wife Willow Bay) especially hard — he personally called the boy's parents and dispatched his parks chief to Orlando — and illustrated the diverse challenges thrown at the New York native in his role as business executive, brand statesman and manager of the kind of bizarre news events that become amplified because of their association with Disney. "Yes, all CEOs have to deal with investors and to some extent the press, but we get a lot more attention than any other company," he says before the incident, which occurred a day after Disney donated $1 million to victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando (Disney employed two of the 49 killed).

    Read the full story here.

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