Hollywood's Most Powerful Women Reveal Their Morning Routines

From left: Kelly Ripa, Shonda Rhomes and Mara Brock Akil

Thirty of the dynamos on THR's Women in Entertainment Power 100 list share the very first thing they do when the alarm rings.

The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 list this year included the powerhouses behind networks, studios and the year's biggest shows, from Netflix's vp, original content Cindy Holland to Fox News' Megyn Kelly to Kelly Ripa.

As part of the annual feature, THR asked the women a series of questions about their careers, role models and when they feel their work matters most.

Below, 30 of the women who made the list dish about the first thing they do when they wake up each morning. Checking the phone or email came up frequently, but pet management, prayer and yes, peeing, also were cited as crucial steps to start the day.  — Farnoush Amiri

Cindy Holland, vp, original content, Netflix                               
“I carry my dog downstairs to go to the bathroom. She has short legs.”

Sophie Watts, president, STX 
“Swim.”

Mara Brock Akil, producer, Akil Productions     
“I say a prayer, set an intention for the day then check my IG for fashion inspiration.”

Lesli Linka Glatter, director and Homeland executive producer    
“Shower, coffee, exercise, meditate and embrace the new day!”

Jenji Kohan, Showrunner, Orange Is the New Black  
“Pee.”

Kelly Ripa
“Take out my Invisalign.”

Frances Manfredi, president, NBCUniversal Television & New MediaDistribution, U.S. and Canada
“Make a green smoothie.”

Megyn Kelly
“Encourage my three-year-old to go back to sleep since he has usually crawled in with us as a pre-dawn wake-up call.”

Sheila Nevins, president, HBO Documentary Films  
“I make coffee so fast. As a matter of fact, I don’t wake up to coffee, I wake up because of it. If there was no coffee, I don’t think I’d ever get out of bed.”

Ellen DeGeneres, host/producer, The Ellen DeGeneres Show             
“I say thank you Jesus! Jesus is my houseboy who wakes me up every morning with a gentle whisper.”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director, Kung Fu Panda 3
“Read something happy online.”

Sandra Stern, president, Lionsgate TV       
“I curse my alarm and check my emails.”

Gail Berman, chairman and CEO, The Jackal Group
“Look for my new puppy Jojo so I don’t step on her.” 

Jenno Topping, president film, Chernin
“Push my dog’s nose away from my face.”

Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm
“I usually lie there for about 10 minutes, thinking through the priority of my day.”

Sarah Barnett, president and GM, BBC America     
“Ugh, check phone.” 

Taraji P. Henson, Actress, Empire and Hidden Figures          
“I process: Is it a work day or a Taraji day. I thank God I’m here for all of the days I’m blessed to live.”

Shonda Rhimes, executive producer, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder
“Listen to NPR, Morning Edition.”

Dana Walden, chairman and CEO, Fox TV Group    
“Check my phone (sadly).”

Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment    
“Go in to check on my four-year-old.  It’s usually her calling “Mama” that wakes me before my alarm!”

Mary Berner, CEO, Cumulus Media
“I do a mental inventory of the whereabouts, health, and well-being of my four kids. Then I breathe a sigh of relief, and check my email.”

Terry Press, president, CBS Films                 
“Feed our cat.”

Nancy Utley, president, Fox Searchlight           
“I go downstairs to play with our two cocker spaniels, Joey and Chandler. They are cuddliest when they first wake up and are the best stress relievers ever!”

Suzanne Todd, producer, Bad Moms        
“I am a single mom to three kids and we have a dog, a cat and two chinchillas. So the morning starts at 5:45 and it’s breakfast for one and breakfast for another and this one needs this pill and the chinchillas get their hay and the dog gets a walk and then this one has early-morning tennis practice and then the third gets breakfast at 7:15. My morning goes from 5:45 to 8 a.m., when I drop the last of the three kids off. I call it the gauntlet.” 

Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group
“I have a brand-new, nine-month-old, 105-pound Leonberger puppy and it’s fending myself from this giant dog licking my face before I can even make it into the bathroom.”

Lisa Nishimura, vp, original documentary and comedy programming, Netflix
“I wake up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. most mornings before my boys wake up. I make myself a cup of coffee and tuck into my favorite spot in our house and open the door to our small garden. It’s quiet, the air is fresh — it’s my favorite time to watch cuts, write notes, read. My mind is wide open at that time and when you get to watch the sun rise each morning, it’s hard not to be filled with a genuine sense of gratitude, optimism, and promise.”

Lisa Gregorian, president and chief marketing officer, Warner Bros. Television       
“Embarrassed to say I check my iPhone before brushing my teeth.”

Toni Howard, partner, ICM Partners
“I kiss my husband and tell him I love him.”

Debbee Klein, head of TV, Paradigm
“The Today show. I’m addicted to that.”

Elyse Scherz, partner and Talent Agent, WME
“Express gratitude.”

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