The Hollywood Reporter's 2015 Women in Entertainment Power 100

7:58 AM 12/9/2015

by THR staff

THR's 24th annual list highlights the industry's top figures — the executives, reps, dealmakers, producers, showrunners and stars — who made an impact this year.

Women in Entertainment MAIN - H 2015
Austin Hargrave

So here we are, unveiling THR's unranked Power 100 list. It's a good one, filled with 22 new entries (28 if you count each of the Kardashians and Jenners — and yes, that includes Caitlyn), each offering a snapshot of the direction of the industry now. In the past few weeks, outlets from CNN to NPR to The Atlantic have covered THR's decision to kibosh the Power 100 rankings. Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted: "Time to hunt as a pack! Woman up!"; and Liz Phair followed up with, "Crusty old Hollywood gets a microderm." Largely, the decision was applauded, though a handful of pundits thought it was patronizing to treat women with "kid gloves." I think they clearly missed the point. Congratulations to the 2015 Power 100.

Read more on THR’s Women in Entertainment Power 100:

Power Squad

The Chiefs

The Film Forces

The Industry Stewards

The Makers

The TV Set

The Stars

The Reps

The Dealmakers

Profiles written by Paul Bond, Rebecca Ford, Stephen Galloway, Chris Gardner, Eriq Gardner, Lesley Goldberg, Marisa Guthrie, Natalie Jarvey, Gregg Kilday, Borys Kit, Kim Masters, Pamela McClintock, Michael O’Connell, Lacey Rose, Bryn Elise Sandberg, Tatiana Siegel, Austin Siegemund-Broka, Kate Stanhope and Rebecca Sun

  • Bela Bajaria

    Category: The TV Set

    Promoted to president of NBCUniversal’s chief production company this year, Bajaria has 24 series on the broadcast schedule — including 11 freshman series — and has overseen off-network sales to outlets including Netflix (Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None) and Hulu (Jason Katims’ The Path). She also was key in finding a home for The Mindy Project at Hulu after Fox passed on a third season. Her studio also is behind Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise.

    Read more about Bajaria in The TV Set.

  • Gina Balian and Nicole Clemens

    *New to list (Balian)

    Category: The TV Set 

    The duo, who both earned their exec vp stripes in October after joining FX in 2012, are responsible for developing FX Networks' slate of originals. Clemens has a mostly successful track record, with The Strain, Tyrant, Man Seeking Woman and the critical darling You're the Worst all returning for additional seasons. Next she will launch Better Things, a comedy starring Pamela Adlon and produced by Louis C.K., as well as Donald Glover's Atlanta. Balian, meanwhile, has Emmy-winning anthology Fargo drawing raves for its second run and has Ryan Murphy and Nina Jacobson's hot anthology American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson due in February. She's also developing X-Men drama pilot Legion with Fargo's Noah Hawley.

    Read more about Balian and Clemens in The TV Set.

  • Elizabeth Banks

    *New to list

    Category: Power Squad

    Banks topped off her banner year by hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time Nov. 14, opening the show by “directing” her own monologue in which she sang and danced to “Flashdance ... What a Feeling.” The actress, known for her roles in comedies and dramas ranging from 30 Rock and The 40-Year-Old Virgin to The Hunger Games and this year’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, said on the show that she’d been bitten by the “directing bug.” Millions of fans around the world are happy she was: Her directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, opened to $69 million in May — the highest domestic opening ever for a first-time director.

    “I felt a real responsibility as a filmmaker who happens to be a woman to deliver on the film,” says Banks, who also produced the movie via Brownstone Productions, which she runs with husband Max Handelman. “I set out with the goal of making a bigger movie, a more blockbuster-sized version of Pitch Perfect.”

    After the Universal sequel went on to earn $286.6 million worldwide, directing offers started rolling in, and Banks signed on to helm a new Charlie’s Angels for Sony.

    “The original ethos of women who graduated from the police academy, and then were given the jobs of crossing guard and meter maid, I feel like that’s still very real in the world right now,” says the star, who also is attached to direct and produce the adaptation of YA hit Red Queen, a book she became interested in after starring as Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games franchise. Banks also will return to direct Universal’s third Pitch Perfect film, slated for release in July 2017.

    “I definitely feel a responsibility to advocate on behalf of other women getting behind the camera,” says Banks, a mother of two boys.

    The Massachusetts-born actress, who served on the Venice Film Festival jury in September and was nominated for an Emmy for her guest actress work on Modern Family this year, recently signed on to star in the war drama Rita Hayworth With a Hand Grenade.

    “I’d like to play more lead roles,” she says, ”which is such a ridiculous thing to say now that I’m not 26 and an ingenue. The ingenues usually have to play with the boys, and I’m much less interested in being the support system for a man in a movie.”

    Read more about Banks here. 

  • Sarah Barnett

    Category: The TV Set 

    A month after taking a nearly 50 percent stake in BBC America, AMC Networks tapped SundanceTV topper Barnett to oversee the home of Orphan Black and Doctor Who. Since then, Barnett has begun to transform the cable network, ordering mystery thriller Thirteen from Marnie Dickens and Undercover from Peter Moffat and putting six new projects in development, including anthology Dirk Gently from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams and Chronicle’s Max Landis.

    Read more about Barnett in The TV Set

  • Lorrie Bartlett

    Category: The Reps

    Bartlett steered Regina King to her first Emmy win (for ABC’s American Crime) and to her acclaimed turn in the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers. (She also helped the burgeoning director land episodic gigs on Scandal and new Shondaland series The Catch.) Other recent highlights include continuing Michael Keaton’s hot streak with Spotlight, placing Rodrigo Santoro in five movies (including Jane Got a Gun and Paramount’s Ben-Hur remake) and signing breakout Shameik Moore, star of Sundance darling Dope.

    Read more about Bartlett in The Reps

  • Kristine Belson

    *New to list

    Category: The Film Forces

    Belson, who spent a decade at DreamWorks Animation and produced the company’s hit The Croods, calls her first year at Sony “transitional.” Among her goals was to ramp up production at SPA: “We are increasing that output meaningfully, and we’ve been opening up the doors to talent,” she says, citing Hotel Transylvania 2, which has grossed $437 million worldwide, and a planned 2017 Smurfs reboot.

    Read more about Belson in The Film Forces

  • Gail Berman

    Category: The Makers 

    After parting with partner Lloyd Braun in 2014, the former Fox and Paramount chief launched Jackal, which inked a mammoth deal with Fox Networks Group and has TV, film, digital and theatrical projects in development. Berman has a comedy (Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life) and a special (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) coming to Fox and a first-look film deal with Fox 2000.

    Read more about Berman in The Makers

  • Frances Berwick

    Category: The Chiefs 

    Having doubled her cable portfolio in October 2014, Berwick now oversees all NBCU lifestyle networks. The London-born, New York-based exec, a married mother of one, pushed No. 9 cable net Bravo into scripted with Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Odd Mom Out and was behind cable’s most watched unscripted launch of the year with E!’s Caitlyn Jenner series I Am Cait.

    Read more about Berwick in The Chiefs

  • Cate Blanchett

    *New to list

    Category: The Stars

    A perennial awards player, the Australia-born actress again is part of the conversation this year for her performance in Todd Haynes’ Carol, which is off to a strong start in its limited box-office debut and scored six Spirit Award nominations, more than any other film, including best female lead for Blanchett. A mother of four and one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood, Blanchett also was lauded this year for Truth and her performance as the evil stepmother in Disney’s box-office hit Cinderella ($542.7 million).

    Read more about Blanchett in The Stars

  • Michelle Bohan

    Category: The Reps

    Bohan has several clients in the awards conversation, including Rooney Mara (Carol), Robert Redford (Truth) and Steve Carell, whose reinvention continues with The Big Short and two upcoming films: a Woody Allen project and Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes, in which he’ll star as Bobby Riggs opposite Emma Stone’s Billie Jean King. Tina Fey also is a longtime client.

    Read more about Bohan in The Reps

  • Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Dawn Hudson

    Category: The Industry Stewards 

    Boone Isaacs hailed the 322 members invited to join the Academy in June as the widest-ranging group yet in terms of age, gender, race and nationality and in November unveiled A2020, a five-year effort to open the Academy’s governing ranks to new voices. Hudson, who oversees a staff of 300, saw plans move forward for the Academy’s Renzo Piano-designed museum. With the City Council on board and a new capital campaign goal of $388 million, a target opening date of spring 2018 was set.

    Read more about Boone Isaacs and Hudson in The Industry Stewards

  • Bernardine Brandis

    Category: The Film Forces

    J.J. Abrams was her neighbor for a decade, but Brandis never spoke to the director until visiting the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, Brandis has negotiated all of the above-the-line deals for the franchise. While she’s largely dealing with sequels to Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel movies — “there’s so many of them; we have twos and threes and fours everywhere,” says the married mother of three — she also works with filmmakers looking to reboot Disney classics. “I got two calls yesterday on two properties I never heard of,” she says.

    Read more about Brandis in The Film Forces

  • Barbara Broccoli

    Category: Power Squad

    The keeper of the James Bond franchise is known as a master negotiator, a skill she’ll need to employ once again in the coming months. The latest James Bond film, Spectre, which had earned $751 million worldwide as of Dec. 3, is the last in Sony’s two-picture deal with MGM and Eon, and now every studio is clamoring to get ahold of the billion-dollarfranchise. Broccoli, who with her half brother Michael G. Wilson has been overseeing the world of 007 since 1995’s Goldeneye, also will have to figure out whether she’ll need to find a new leading man — Spectre star Daniel Craig, who came off a bit bristly in media interviews for the $250 million film, is not committed to wearing the Bond tux again. In the meantime, she’s producing theater projects and such indie fare as The Silent Storm with Damian Lewis.

    Read more about Broccoli here. 

  • Mara Brock Akil

    *New to list 

    Category: The Makers 

    The Power 100 first-timer and Girlfriends creator, along with husband and writing partner Salim Akil, said goodbye to their long-running hit The Game, but Being Mary Jane continues to perform for BET, ranking as its top series. After two back-to-back deals at BET, the duo signed a three-year overall pact with Warner Bros. TV that brings them to the studio in May.

    Read more about Brock Akil in The Makers

  • Ilene Chaiken and Taraji P. Henson

    *New to list 

    Category: Power Squad

    Two of the most high-profile additions to the Power 100 arrive thanks to the stellar success of Empire. Neither Henson nor Chaiken is new to the game — Henson earned an Oscar nomination for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and starred on CBS’ Person of Interest on top of a steady film career, while Chaiken co-created Showtime’s groundbreaking lesbian drama The L Word — but their stocks have skyrocketed in the past 12 months thanks to the hip-hop drama.

    Chaiken signed a lucrative seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox in May, and Henson’s new household-name status has led to appearances in commercials for Apple and Hulu as well as multiple magazine covers. In addition to her Emmy nomination, Henson also has taken home Critics’ Choice, BET and NAACP awards for her portrayal of the outspoken and instantly quotable Cookie Lyon. “For so many years, we pushed up against this idea that women can’t carry a show, that female characters can’t be this, this or this, that we had to create our female characters to behave in a certain way,” says Chaiken. “When it works, and when it works powerfully, everybody notices and understanding dawns. Cookie is such a great example of that.”

    The two also have found ways to use the show’s power for good (in addition to selling soundtracks and Empire-branded clothing at Saks Fifth Avenue): The opening minutes of the season two premiere shined a light on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the show’s list of directors is one of the most diverse in the business — in terms of gender as well as race. “There’s a palpable, measurable, progressive change happening right now,” says Chaiken of the growing ranks of women behind the camera, noting that things have come a long way since she first came to Hollywood to work at CAA. “Girls weren’t accepted into the training program because we couldn’t carry typewriters,” she recalls. “By the way, I can carry a typewriter as well as any 25-year-old boy.”

    Read more about Chaiken and Henson here

  • Megan Colligan

    Category: The Film Forces

    “It felt impossible,” says Colligan of Paramount’s January decision to move Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation from December to July. But it worked; the film grossed $682 million globally. The savvy awards player now is readying The Big Short and Anomalisa. Paramount also releases Daddy’s Home, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, on Christmas Day.

    Read more about Colligan in The Film Forces

  • Melanie Cook

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Cook brokers Scott Rudin’s deals for projects including a Little House on the Prairie film; an adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See; and Annihilation, a Natalie Portman thriller. The UCLA Law alum has negotiated several clients into helming Netflix series (Stephen Daldry for The Crown, Barry Sonnenfeld for A Series of Unfortunate Events). She negotiated Sam Mendes’ deal for Spectre and is in the middle of contracts including Tim Burton’s deal to direct Disney’s Dumbo

    Read more about Cook in The Dealmakers

  • Maha Dakhil

    Category: The Reps

    In addition to giving birth to her first child in November, Dakhil’s 2015 highlights include adding Ava DuVernay to her roster, steering Denis Villeneuve from Sicario to Story of Your Life (with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner) to the Blade Runner sequel and negotiating multiple deals for Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard banner. She helped Natalie Portman make her feature directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, and kept up with Tom Cruise, who is shooting Doug Liman’s Mena in between duties on the Mission: Impossible franchise. Dakhil is bringing Steve McQueen to TV via his upcoming HBO drama and landed director Juan Antonio Bayona the high-profile World War Z sequel.

    Read more about Dakhil in The Reps

  • Ann Daly, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria

    *New to list (Soria)

    Category: The Film Forces

    After a disappointing 2014, DWA scaled back to release only one movie in 2015 — Home, a solid performer that grossed $386 million worldwide. Changes were afoot behind the scenes as CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg named veteran producers Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon) and Soria (Madagascar) to replace Bill Damaschke. The company is aiming to bounce back in 2016 with Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls.

    Read more about Daly, Arnold and Soria in The Film Forces

  • Julie Darmody

    *New to list

    Category: The Reps

    Darmody took client Chris Pratt from goofball supporting roles on TV (Andy on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) to A-list film star, with back-to-back blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. In September, she made a head-turning leap of her own when she and colleague Christie Smith broke from their longtime home, Mosaic, to launch Rise. Clients like Will Forte, Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island trio, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Adam Scott and Pratt followed.

    Read more about Darmody in The Reps.

  • Ellen DeGeneres

    Category: The Stars

    Daytime’s dismal landscape (see: Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper) makes DeGeneres’ continued success all the more impressive. Her show just celebrated its 2,000th episode and is renewed through 2017. Her production company sold an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to Netflix, and she lends her voice to Pixar’s June Finding Nemo sequel. 

    Read more about DeGeneres in The Stars

  • Marie Donoghue

    Category: The TV Set 

    Having managed ESPN’s strategy, business affairs and business development since 2012, Donoghue now has a portfolio that includes ESPN Films (and its Emmy-winning 30 for 30 series), Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and popular ESPN programs including Pardon the Interruption and SportsNation. A rocky period began in the spring when her boss, John Skipper, cut loose Bill Simmons and in October shuttered Simmons’ Grantland. But Donoghue tapped well-regarded Washington Post editor Kevin Merida to run the company’s The Undefeated while developing multiplatform storytelling under the Exit 31 content banner.

    Read more about Donoghue in The TV Set

  • Nancy Dubuc

    Category: Power Squad

    The ad-supported cable industry is under assault, and sources of the incoming fire are numerous: cord-cutters and cord-nevers, skinny bundles and a la carte, mobile and over-the-top. To say nothing of a creative crisis in cable’s unscripted landscape that has sent ratings into a nosedive. So what is the CEO of a cable network group — one with $4 billion in annual revenue, 500 employees and a valuation of more than $26 billion — to do in the face of such challenges? Invest and diversify. Since being upped to her current post atop the company in 2013, Dubuc has led AETN’s initial $250 million investment in Vice Media.

    More recently, she hammered out a deal with Vice CEO Shane Smith to rebrand History spinoff H2 into Viceland as well as up A+E’s stake in the company to nearly 20 percent. At the same time, the married mother of two is investing in homegrown scripted projects via A+E Studios, which launched in 2013, and this year found a critical darling in Lifetime’s UnREAL. The studio now is in production on a reboot of the epic miniseries Roots with an A-list cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

    Read more about Dubuc here

  • Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner

    *New to list (Konner)

    Category: The Stars

    The collaborators and close friends are busy building a media empire that now includes their twice-weekly newsletter, Lenny, which made news when Jennifer Lawrence contributed an essay about salary disparity between her and, as Lawrence described them, “the lucky people with dicks.” The duo also has zeitgeist-y Girls (averaging 4.3 million viewers an episode last season) and Dunham’s entree last year onto the bestseller list with the controversial Not That Kind of Girl.

    Read more about Dunham and Konner in The Stars

  • Ava DuVernay

    *New to list

    Category: The Makers

    Selma’s best picture Oscar nomination was the first for an African-American female director; the film also scored at the box office ($67 million worldwide) and with critics. This year, the Compton, Calif., native turned down Marvel’s offer to direct Avengers spinoff Black Panther. Instead, she will helm an untitled Hurricane Katrina project and will make her first TV foray with the series Queen Sugar, which she wrote, will direct and produce for OWN and Warner Horizon.

    Read more about DuVernay in The Makers

  • Megan Ellison

    Category: The Makers 

    “Art promotes empathy through deepening our understanding of humanity,” Ellison tweeted in July. Annapurna — the name of the Hindu goddess of nourishment — wrapped production this year on Wiener-Dog from indie auteur Todd Solondz (it’s going to Sundance), Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women and Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some. Ellison only has one film opening this year, but it’s a doozy: Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence.

    Read more about Ellison in The Makers

  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

    Category: The Stars

    The dust now settled on their three-year stint as hosts of the Golden Globes, Fey and Poehler continue to collaborate. December sees them share the screen in Universal’s Sisters and reunite as co-hosts of alma mater Saturday Night Live. Behind the camera, Fey returned to showrunning with her Netflix Emmy nominee Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Poehler serves as executive producer on the comedy breakouts Difficult People (Hulu) and Broad City (Comedy Central).

    Read more about Fey and Poehler in The Stars

  • Elizabeth Gabler

    Category: The Film Forces

    The teen drama Paper Towns didn’t hit as big as 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars, but the $12 million film still earned $86 million worldwide. Rounding out Gabler’s busy 2015 were The Longest Ride ($63 million) and Bridge of Spies ($97.4 million to date). Still ahead are The Road Chip, the fourth entry in the billion-dollar-plus Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, and the Jennifer Lawrence-starring Joy, which Gabler calls the highlight of 2015. Up next in 2016, Gabler is putting Ted Melfi’s Hidden Figures into production with a March start.

    Read more about Gabler in The Film Forces.

  • Michele Ganeless

    Category: The TV Set 

    Ganeless’ year has been one of tremendous change, having kicked off 2015 focused on rebooting the 11:30 p.m. slot and ending it focused on rebooting the 11 p.m. one. To her credit, the transition from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore has been smooth despite early and predictable ratings slides. Inside Amy Schumer ensured Comedy Central had regular viral hits, and Another Period and Broad City have garnered raves.

    Read more about Ganeless in The TV Set

  • Dede Gardner

    Category: The Makers 

    The intensely private producer, who founded Plan B in 2002 with Brad Pitt, has spent the fall ensconced on the War Machine set in Abu Dhabi. Netflix paid a whopping $60 million for David Michod’s satirical military comedy, starring Pitt as Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and slated for release in 2016. Gardner and Plan B — producers on the 2014 Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and 2015 nominee Selma — hope to be back in the race with Adam McKay’s The Big Short.

    Read more about Gardner in The Makers.

  • Patty Glaser

    *New to list

    Category: The Dealmakers

    She calls herself a “hick from West Virginia,” but Glaser has helped city slicker clients like Conan O’Brien and Keith Olbermann win big cases and has handled legal matters for three studios (Disney, Sony and Paramount), two agencies (WME, UTA) and multiple entrepreneurs (Elon Musk, Thomas Tull). “Most lawyers are smarter than I am,” says the woman many (incorrectly) assume is the model for Glenn Close’s character on Damages. “But they are afraid to go to trial. That’s my biggest advantage.”

    Read more about Glaser in The Dealmakers

  • Lisa Gregorian, Marla Provencio, Pamela Levine and Stephanie Gibbons

    Category: The TV Set 

    Cutting through the clutter of 400-plus scripted series is increasingly reliant on marketing — be it polished campaign art (FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel), reviving (maybe) the dead (HBO’s Jon Snow-centric Game of Thrones teasers), working social media (Warner Bros.’ millennial-friendly DC Comics slate) or launching an international superstar in the U.S. (ABC’s Quantico star, Priyanka Chopra).

    Read more about Gregorian, Provencio, Levine, and Gibbons in The TV Set

  • Bonnie Hammer

    Category: Power Squad

    The queen of cable maintains her title, with the most profitable empire of any woman in Hollywood. Despite ongoing ratings challenges across the landscape, Hammer’s group of 10 networks and two cable studios is expected to post profits of about $2.8 billion this year, up from $2.7 billion year-over-year and by far the biggest contributor to NBCUniversal’s bottom line. In fact, 2015 marks the 10th consecutive year in which her portfolio registered growth in both profit and revenue.

    The NBCU vet, who reports to CEO Steve Burke, oversees about 2,000 employees in the larger cable entertainment group and 12 direct reports, including Power 100 list-makers Frances Berwick and Beth Roberts. In any given week, 118 million viewers tune in to Hammer’s networks. Collectively the group has aired 137 original series in 2015, a mix of unscripted (Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Real Housewives) and scripted (The Royals, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce). Among the standouts: USA’s hacker drama Mr. Robot, which earned widespread critical acclaim; and Caitlyn Jenner’s I Am Cait, which made E! a key part of the cultural conversation. Hammer, a married mother of two, also is among an elite subset of Hollywood power women who additionally sit on corporate boards. She joined the IAC board in September 2014 and eBay’s board four months later.

    Read more about Hammer here

  • Cindy Holland

    Category: Power Squad

    Under Holland, Netflix continues to lead the streaming landscape as a coveted outlet for top creators to bring their next project. In the past year alone, Netflix has more than doubled its original programming output, introducing more than 300 episodes of original content that ranged from the drama Bloodline to the Aziz Ansari comedy Master of None, and will spend $5 billion on content in 2016. The streamer scored 34 Emmy noms this year (it won four), but the 13-year Netflix veteran and avid cyclist says she’s focused on assembling a diverse slate of shows for the streamer’s 69 million global subscribers, a 30 percent increase from 2014.
    Read more about Holland here. 
  • Toni Howard

    Category: The Reps

    She vacations with Judge Judy; she’s a top-class poker player; she cracks ribald jokes about what might happen if she ever got together with 6-foot-9 Magic Johnson (she’s 4-foot-10). Oh, and she has one of the best client rosters in town, including Michael Keaton, Spike Lee, James Spader, Laura Linney and Edie Falco. “She’s the most determined person you’ve met in your life,” says Michael Caine. Adds Samuel L. Jackson: “A lot of her friends have become my friends; she knows everyone.” Here’s what else she knows, in her own words:

    I’m 71, and I embrace my age. Years ago, everything was, “Oh, they’re young and hot.” But they can be young and cold, too. I know so much more now than I did 20 years ago.

    I grew up in the slums of Beverly Hills. My parents weren’t in the business, but their friends were. My mother had a lot of drive. In her 60s, she opened a store in Beverly Hills and she had all of the designers coming to her and all the Reagan kitchen-cabinet wives. But in those days, women weren’t obsessed with working. They wanted to get married. I wanted to get married, too, but no one was marrying me that fast — I didn’t meet my husband [producer David Yarnell] till I was in my 40s — so I ended up falling into a career.

    My first real job in the business was for my sister’s then-father-in-law, [producer] Harold Mirisch. I was the second secretary. It was a great job, and I was a fantastic secretary, though I used to say things like, “I’ll be back in five seconds,” then I’d go on Billy Wilder’s set for two hours. This is a terrible story, but I was in the elevator the day Kennedy was assassinated. I was with some agents, and they said, “The president has been shot.” I said, “Oh, is that a good script?”

    The person I learned the most from was [agent] Freddie Fields when I worked as a secretary at CMA from 1968 to ’74. He represented Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. Every day I would show him the list of clients he’d talked to, and he would say, “Oh, I haven’t talked to Faye Dunaway in four days.” I learned to talk to clients even if you have nothing important to say to them.

    I spent seven years as a casting director, and one day David Geffen and Stan Kamen of the William Morris Agency called and said, “You should be an agent.” I was working for Lynn Stalmaster, who was the premier casting director, and so I said to Lynn, “I’m going to leave unless you make me a better offer.” He said, “My business manager is going to make you an offer you’ll be happy with.” So the business manager calls and says, “We’re now going to reimburse you for gas.” I said, “That is not a great counter,” and I left.

    I was 40 years old when I went to William Morris, and in February, it will be 25 years since I came to ICM. When I was a casting director, all I thought agents did was give incorrect client availabilities — but in the last 31 years, I’ve realized how creative agents can be. You talk to the casting director, you talk to the director, the head of marketing, the DVD guy. I’ll say, “Why not change the part from being a man to being a woman?”

    To be a great agent, you have to have a passion for your clients. I’m not thinking of retiring. I’m just starting my third act.

    Read more about Howard in The Reps

  • Gale Anne Hurd

    Category: The Makers 

    In addition to overseeing TV’s biggest drama among adults 18-to-49, Hurd in 2015 added companion series Fear the Walking Dead, which scored the most watched cable premiere in history. Next, she has Syfy rookie drama Hunters as well as the PBS doc Mankiller, making her Valhalla banner responsible for 75 hours of programming in 2016, including postshow Talking Dead.

    Read more about Hurd in The Makers

  • Sharon Jackson

    *New to list

    Category: The Reps

    Her roster reads like a comedy hot list: Amy Poehler, Jack Black, Will Arnett, Fred Armisen and Jonah Hill, to name a few. But it’s really the year of Aziz Ansari, who jumped from Parks and Recreation to Netflix’s Master of None, which debuted to critical raves. Also credit Jackson with putting Ellie Kemper back on the map with her starring role in Tina Fey-created comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and helping supermodel Cara Delevingne transition from the runway to the screen with Paper Towns and the highly anticipated Suicide Squad.

    Read more about Jackson in The Reps

  • Tracey Jacobs

    Category: The Reps

    Straight Outta Compton still is paying dividends as Jacobs lines up client Ice Cube’s next projects, including starring roles in Ride Along 2 and a UTA-packaged Ebenezer Scrooge tale set up at Universal. She closed deals for Johnny Depp (getting Oscar buzz for Black Mass) to return for Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland sequels. And she helped turn Depp’s daughter Lily Rose into a rising star (Planetarium with Natalie Portman), Black Mass co-star Benedict Cumberbatch into a Marvel superhero (Doctor Strange) and Kristen Wiig into a Ghostbuster.

    Read more about Jacobs in The Reps

  • Nina Jacobson

    Category: The Makers 

    The final installment of the $2.7 billion Hunger Games franchise debuted behind expectations in November, but it remains a box office giant with a global total of nearly $450 million to date. Jacobson now is moving into TV with American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, produced with Ryan Murphy, premiering on FX in early 2016. On the film side, she’s making Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Cate Blanchett will star) and The Goldfinch, based on Donna Tartt’s acclaimed novel.

    Read more about Jacobson in The Makers

  • Angelina Jolie Pitt

    Category: The Stars

    Co-starring with husband Brad Pitt in By the Sea, the marital drama she wrote and directed as her follow-up to Unbroken ($163 million worldwide), turned out to be a major bust, but the onetime wild child continues to use her celebrity status to advocate for the disadvantaged and focus attention on health issues. She’s on board for a sequel to Disney’s Maleficent, her 2014 passion project that earned $758.5 million worldwide.

    Read more about Jolie Pitt in The Stars

  • Nancy Josephson

    Category: The Reps

    Her clients Portia de Rossi (Scandal) and first-time Emmy nominee Niecy Nash saw their stars rise. Josephson negotiated overall deals for writer-producers Greg Malins (How I Met Your Mother) and Elwood Reid (The Bridge), both at 20th TV, and David Hudgins (NBC’s upcoming Game of Silence) at Sony.

    Read more about Josephson in The Reps

  • The Kardashians & Jenners

    *New to list

    Category: The Stars

    The most followed family in the history of social media — Kim has more than 53 million Instagram followers — every one of Kris Jenner’s daughters is money in the bank (to say nothing of her ex-husband, Caitlyn). The Kardashians have kept up the ratings with Keeping Up With the Kardashians (still E!’s top show, regularly pulling nearly 2 million viewers an episode) and Caitlyn’s I Am Cait.

    The family pushed further into high fashion (allying with Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci) and launched the first subscription-based celebrity apps, which garnered 1 million subscriptions in their first week (Kylie’s was the most downloaded free app in the U.S. for two days). “It helps that I have six kids who understand the business,” says Kris, 60, who gets up every day at 4 a.m. for calls to Europe. “All that matters is that my kids are happy.”

    Read more about the Kardashians and Jenners in The Stars

  • Megyn Kelly

    Category: Power Squad 

    Kelly unquestionably is among the top news anchors on TV. Sure, she has become (along with Bill O’Reilly) the face of Roger Ailes’ $15 billion Fox News empire. But the married mother of three also has become — simply in the course of doing her job — the refutation of the toxic misogyny that can pervade social media. When Donald Trump’s personal attacks on her — after she questioned his sexist statements about women at the first GOP primary debate in August — unleashed an ugly Twitter barrage, Kelly kept quiet even as the candidate embarked on an on-again, off-again feud with the network. “Donald Trump rarely apologizes,” said Ailes, “although in this case, he should.”

    That debate was watched by a stunning 24 million viewers, a record for a political debate on cable news and still the season’s most watched face-off in what has proved to be a blockbuster primary season. The Kelly File — her 9 p.m. program that launched in October 2013 — snapped the 10-year cable news winning streak of her colleague O’Reilly, besting his 8 p.m. show in the critical 25-to-54 demographic in the third quarter for the first time. “I’ve had contentious showdowns with Democrats and Republicans,” Kelly told THR this year. “It’s not about politics, it’s about penetrating the lens. It’s about connecting with that audience.”

    Read more about Kelly here. 

  • Kathleen Kennedy

    Category: Power Squad 

    As Star Wars: The Force Awakens nears its release on Dec. 18, the level of anticipation has reached hysterical proportions. At the center of the frenzy is Kennedy, who has four more films in the franchise rolling out over the next four years — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards (2016), Episode VIII written and directed by Rian Johnson (2017), an untitled Han Solo anthology film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (2018) and Episode IX directed by Colin Trevorrow (2019) — plus an untitled Star Wars anthology film written by Simon Kinberg (undated).

    “My life is quite — it’s organized chaos,” says the Northern California native (a mother of two children with producer husband Frank Marshall), who took the reins at Lucasfilm in 2012. “It’s been nonstop — literally nonstop — from that moment on.” Says Kinberg, “I’ve been most impressed by how she gets the best work out of creative people. … She’s supernatural to me. She’s calm and clear and focused and committed and extraordinarily insightful about filmmaking.”

    Read more about Kennedy here

  • Paula Kerger

    Category: The Chiefs

    With Downton Abbey ending (the most watched series in Masterpiece’s 45 years), PBS has been stocking up on such fare as Civil War drama Mercy Street, as it emerges from a scandal over Ben Affleck’s request to scrub his slave-owning ancestor from genealogy series Finding Your Roots. Downton propelled us into the cultural landscape in a different way,” says Kerger. “We haven’t been sitting back hoping for something else to happen.”

    Read more about Kerger in The Chiefs

  • Debbee Klein

    Category: The Reps

    Klein’s department set up 12 series at 11 networks and streaming services in 2015, including Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot) at Hulu and Michelle and Robert King’s BrainDead at CBS. Other clients include Marc Cherry (Devious Maids) and Shane Brennan (NCIS: LA).

    Read more about Klein in The Reps

  • Blair Kohan

    Category: The Reps

    Longtime client Seth Rogen landed the part of Steve Wozniak in the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs, secured a sequel to his 2014 box-office hit Neighbors ($270.6 million worldwide) and whipped out Christmas buddy comedy The Night Before and, with Evan Goldberg, sold TV pilots to AMC and Hulu, respectively. Client Paul Rudd made his superhero debut in Ant-Man, which has grossed more than $500 million worldwide. On the TV side, Kohan orchestrated Transparent creator Jill Soloway’s overall deal with Amazon.

    Read more about Kohan in The Reps

  • Jenji Kohan

    Category: The Makers

    Despite a move from the comedy to drama categories at the 2015 Primetime Emmys, Kohan’s Netflix hit earned four nominations, including one for best drama and a win for supporting actress Uzo Aduba. This year, the married mother of three also shot the pilot for her HBO drama about the Salem witch trials.

    Read more about Kohan in The Makers

  • Sue Kroll

    Category: The Film Forces

    “Obviously, we’ve had a bumpy ride,” says Kroll, whose studio — often an industry leader — has seen its fortunes slip over the past two years. Big misses in 2015 included Pan and Our Brand Is Crisis. Bright spots were Mad Max: Fury Road ($375.8 million worldwide) and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which nabbed a best picture nomination and became the top-grossing war film ever ($547.4 million). Kroll, now overseeing global distribution upon the retirement of domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman, is looking forward to a 2016 lineup that includes Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

    Read more about Kroll in The Film Forces

  • Veronika Kwan Vandenberg

    Category: The Film Forces

    With the departure of Dan Fellman, Vandenberg now is in charge of domestic distribution after running Warners’ international operation for years (she reports to Sue Kroll). Highlights of 2015 include American Sniper (which earned $197.3 million offshore), San Andreas ($318.5 million internationally compared with a domestic cume of $155.2million) and Mad Max: Fury Road ($222 million overseas).

    Read more about Vandenberg in The Film Forces

  • Donna Langley

    Category: Power Squad

    With her studio’s box-office haul of more than $6.7 billion worldwide, Langley is presiding over a record year with a diverse slate ranging from franchise fare (Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, Minions, Jurassic World) to zeitgeisty features with awards buzz (Straight Outta Compton, Steve Jobs). “She’s indefatigable about trying to make a film the best it can possibly be,” says NBCU CEO Steve Burke.

    Read more about Langley here

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    As if biggest star in Hollywood wasn’t enough, Lawrence added advocate to her resume in October when she authored a defining essay on gender pay inequality in Hollywood, published in Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny. The actress was moved to speak out after learning what her male co-stars in David O. Russell’s 2013 film American Hustle earned. “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 mad at Sony. I got mad at myself,” wrote Lawrence. “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

    She wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. In fact, for Sony’s forthcoming Passengers, she commanded a hefty $20 million — more than co-star Chris Pratt is earning for the space romance, set to hit theaters Dec. 21, 2016. It’s been a year of endings for the star, between Mockingjay — Part 2, the final title in the Hunger Games series, and her last X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, due in theaters in May. She went on a whirlwind worldwide tour to promote Mockingjay, which opened Nov. 20 (it had grossed $206 million domestic as of Dec. 2), and now is preparing for the Dec. 25 release of Joy, widely expected to be a player in this year’s awards race (with buzz around Lawrence for a best actress nomination). The movie, directed by Russell, is loosely based on the life of Miracle Mop creator Joy Mangano.

    Oscar winner (and three-time nominee) Lawrence recently revealed that she will direct Project Delirium, based on Raffi Khatchadourian’s 2012 New Yorker piece about chemical weapon experiments performed on U.S. soldiers during the Cold War, and is co-writing a comedy with Amy Schumer. The Kentucky native also struck a pact this summer to be the face of Dior Addict makeup.

    Read more about Lawrence here

  • Debra Lee

    Category: The Chiefs

    Amid big changes at MTV and VH1, Viacom’s third music channel has been its most stable. Series like Real Husbands of Hollywood and Being Mary Jane continue to pull solid ratings as Lee, a married mother of two, explores new territories. BET entered the sports arena via collaborations with Roc Nation Sports and the NBA. The network also joined the Emmy conversation thanks to miniseries The Book of Negroes.

    Read more about Lee in The Chiefs

  • Jill Leiderman

    Category: The Makers

    The Northwestern grad and new mom has helped ABC’s late-night show stay competitive — regularly drawing nearly 800,000 viewers in the key 18-to-49 demo. Though Kimmel trails Jimmy Fallon (NBC) by a wide margin, the show has little trouble garnering buzz, be it with an impassioned Cecil the Lion monologue or celebrities reading mean tweets.

    Read more about Leiderman in The Makers

  • Claudia Lewis

    Category: The Film Forces 

    The 20-year vet oversaw Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman, which swept the Oscars with four wins, including best picture. She also shepherded the company’s first sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which earned $86 million worldwide. Coming up: She’s overseeing Marc Webb’s Gifted, starring Chris Evans; the tennis comedy Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and the drama My Cousin Rachel with Rachel Weisz.

    Read more about Lewis in The Film Forces

  • Linda Lichter

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Lichter negotiated Linda Woolverton’s deal to write the Maleficent sequel and Sony’s for the new Dragon Tattoo novel The Girl in the Spider’s Web. She represented producers Gail Mutrux and Anne Harrison in The Danish Girl’s 15-year journey to the Oscar awards race. 

    Read more about Lichter in The Dealmakers

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Category: The Stars

    In September, she nabbed the lead actress Emmy for the fourth straight year, the only performer to win for three different comedy series (Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld). She also has more nominations than any comedy actress ever, a record once held by Lucille Ball.

    Read more about Louis-Dreyfus in The Stars

  • General Counsels

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Marcus got in the ring with HBO for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, while Tuzon coordinated Fox’s push for international sports rights. Harris handled NBCU’s acquisition of Universal Studios Japan and investments in BuzzFeed and Vox Media. Prentice papered Paramount’s plan for unique theatrical and VOD releases of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Weil spent the year handling the Sony hack, contending with lawsuits from former employees (they settled for $5.5 million in October).

    Read more about the General Counsels in The Dealmakers

  • Melissa McCarthy

    Category: The Stars

    Since 2011’s Bridesmaids, McCarthy’s comedy vehicles — which include Tammy and The Heat — have earned more than $1.03 billion globally. This summer, Paul Feig’s Spy pulled in $235.7 million worldwide. Next up, she’ll star as a mogul who has to rebuild her life after a prison stint in The Boss, which she co-wrote with husband and director Ben Falcone. Then, she reunites with Feig for his all-female Ghostbusters reboot, which hits theaters in July. All this as her CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, a Chuck Lorre moneymaker, preps its 100th episode.

    Read more about McCarthy in The Stars

  • Lori McCreary

    Category: The Industry Stewards

    Along with leading Revelations’ successful foray into TV with Madam Secretary, McCreary has been working with fellow PGA president Gary Lucchesi on some tough issues facing the industry, including workplace safety and piracy.

    Read more about McCreary in The Industry Stewards

  • Distribution Chiefs

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Edwards oversaw the sale of Empire in nearly every major international territory and is working on bringing The X-Files and Prison Break revivals to the global market. Manfredi secured more than $1 billion in revenue for NBCU this year. Menendez manages 20 offices worldwide and oversees a portfolio of 100,000 TV episodes and 4,000 feature films. Marinelli was behind Disney’s release of six Star Wars films on Digital HD.

    Read more about the Distribution Chiefs in The Dealmakers

  • Amy Miles

    Category: The Chiefs

    The only woman to run a mega-theater circuit (the U.S.’ largest), Miles is presiding over one of the best years to date for the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company, which operates more than 7,300 screens in 44 states. The boom, in part, is attributed to upgraded locations with luxury seating, high-end concessions and alcohol. Miles, a proponent of keeping theatrical windows as they are, refuses to carry a title going out early on VOD, Netflix or Amazon.

    Read more about Miles in The Chiefs

  • Hannah Minghella

    Category: THE FILM FORCES

    Though she will oversee fewer films in her new role (in August, she moved from president of production at Columbia Pictures, where she shepherded such films as Goosebumps and Concussion), the U.K.-born Minghella, daughter of late director Anthony Minghella, says TriStar’s projects dovetail with her sensibilities. The first movie to go into production on her watch is Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver in February (Lily James will star).

    Read more about Minghella in The Film Forces

  • Courteney Monroe

    *New to list 

    Category: The Chiefs

    In the four years since the marketing exec left HBO for National Geographic, she’s swiftly risen from chief marketing officer to global chief of its TV operation. Working with Fox Networks Group’s Peter Rice, Monroe is leading a push to elevate content on the flagship, courting the likes of Darren Aronofsky and Alex Gibney — and hitting ratings pay dirt with adaptations of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing books.

    Read more about Monroe in The Chiefs

  • Vanessa Morrison

    Category: The Film Forces

    Morrison spent two years convincing the Hollywood-shy heirs of Charles M. Schulz that Fox Animation would do right by them. It was a courtship that paid off in November when The Peanuts Movie opened to $44 million and crossed the $100 million mark about two weeks later. “To go up there and see the desk he worked on and know that we were going to continue that legacy was awesome,” says the Northern California native. Next up for her is Ice Age: Collision Course in July.

    Read more about Morrison in The Film Forces

  • Diane Nelson

    Category: The Chiefs

    With DC’s iconic properties at the center, Nelson holds the many threads that tie Warners’ film, TV, video games and consumer products together. DC’s banner TV year, with seven shows on the air (including Supergirl) and an eighth (Legends of Tomorrow) due in January, will be followed by a big 2016 for the film side with Batman v. Superman, which launches the DC Cinematic Universe, and Suicide Squad.

    Read more about Nelson in The Chiefs

  • Sheila Nevins

    Category: The TV Set 

    “It’s like The Jinx are the new magic words in pitches,” says Nevins laughingly of the serial-killer miniseries’ frenzied success. “That was a decade of work and all kinds of serendipitous elements coming together at the right time.” The 29-time Emmy winner, who also scored with the Scientology doc Going Clear, is not concerned with duplicating recent successes, only pushing forward: She’s putting the finishing touches on a Gloria Vanderbilt doc with the heiress’ son, Anderson Cooper.

    Read more about Nevins in The TV Set

  • Jeanne Newman

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Netflix recently premiered two Marvel series developed and run by Newman’s clients (Daredevil’s Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight and Jessica Jones’ Melissa Rosenberg), and she repped Lee Daniels in his overall deal with Fox. 

    Read more about Newman in The Dealmakers.

  • Tonia O'Connor

    Category: The TV Set 

    Since joining the Spanish-language network in 2008, O’Connor steadily has expanded her portfolio to include development, licensing and distribution across all screens and platforms; with a promotion to a newly created position Dec. 2, her purview now includes enterprise development. This year she forged deals with Sling TV and Verizon’s go90 while also launching OTT service Univision Now, which offers telenovelas, awards shows (Latin Grammys) and sports (Mexico’s Liga MX, the most watched soccer league in the U.S.).

    Read more about O'Connor in The TV Set.

  • Mary Parent

    Category: The Makers

    Alejandro G. Inarritu’s big-budget frontier tale, which used only natural light and 90 percent exterior shots, was easily the most ambitious effort of Parent’s career. “It was very difficult,” says the veteran — but worth it, as The Revenant generates major Oscar buzz. Parent, who worked as an exec at MGM and Universal, also produced Warner Bros.’ upcoming Kong: Skull Island and Paramount’s Monster Trucks.

    Read more about Parent in The Makers

  • Amy Pascal

    Category: The Film Forces

    When Sony announced in February, in the wake of the cyberhack that put Pascal in the hot seat, that it would not be renewing her contract as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and head of its motion picture unit, she was hardly out on the street: Her four-year deal at the studio is said to be valued at as much as $40 million. She became one of the producers of the next Spider-Man movie, due in 2017, as well as the new femme-centric Ghostbusters, which will hit theaters July 15.

    Read more about Pascal in The Film Forces.

  • Cynthia Pett and Aleen Keshishian

    Category: The Reps

    Pett continues to shepherd Brad Pitt’s career, helping him and Plan B set up his next starring vehicle, War Machine, at Netflix. She works with Kyle Chandler (Bloodline) and helped Charlie Hunnam transition from TV’s Sons of Anarchy to Guy Ritchie’s Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur. Keshishian saw Paul Rudd become Ant-Man (a sequel currently is in the works) and Mark Ruffalo star in Spotlight.

    Read more about Pett and Keshishian in The Reps.

  • Terry Press

    Category: The Film Forces

    Press’ outfit released two films in 2015 via its distribution partnership with Lionsgate. The first, teen comedy The DUFF, earned $34 million against an $8.5 million budget. In theaters is the holiday comedy Love the Coopers. Upcoming films include the heist drama Comancheria, starring Chris Pine, and The Sense of an Ending. Press’ team also is plotting Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, the film adaptation of James Patterson’s bestselling book series.

    Read more about Press in The Film Forces.

  • Gigi Pritzker

    Category: The Makers

    Along with TPG and China’s Hony Capital, Pritzker is one of three key backers in STX Entertainment, which put out its first movies in 2015 — The Gift and Secret in Their Eyes. The Hyatt heiress’ OddLot produced misfire Mortdecai but has a trio of promising films in the works, including Comancheria with Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges. The Chicago-based mother of three also runs Relevant Theatricals and has a stake in foreign sales company Sierra/Affinity (Whiplash) as well as John Sloss’ Cinetic Management (Justin Lin, Richard Linklater).

    Read more about Pritzker in The Makers.

  • Keri Putnam

    Category: The Industry Stewards

    The former Miramax exec, who oversees an annual budget of $40 million, has solidified the institute’s signature festival as a top destination for premiering new independent films, including Oscar nominees Boyhood and Whiplash, as well as increased Sundance’s international footprint. Together with Women in Film, the Institute on Dec. 1 announced the Systemic Change Project, a gender parity initiative developed by 44 industry stakeholders.

    Read more about Putnam in The Industry Stewards.

  • Hylda Queally

    Category: The Reps

    Queally’s roster of A-list actresses includes Cate Blanchett (Carol and Truth), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs), Jessica Chastain (The Martian), Marion Cotillard (Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed) and Lupita Nyong’o. Queally this year landed Daisy Ridley, Star Wars’ previously unknown lead. She also arranged Andy Serkis’ directorial debut (Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book: Origins) and negotiated roles in The Danish Girl for both Ben Whishaw and Matthias Schoenaerts.

    Read more about Queally in The Reps.

  • Shari Redstone

    *New to list

    Category: Power Squad

    It should come as a surprise to no one that at this litigious moment in an unprecedented drama, Shari Redstone is not prepared to address questions about her ailing 92-year-old father, Sumner, or the fate of the family’s Viacom and CBS media empire. But Redstone, who not only is president of parent company National Amusements but also vice chair of both the Viacom and CBS boards, is willing to share her opinions about subjects ranging from the future of the media business to the cause of equal access to justice.

    Redstone is bullish on the future of the entertainment business. “If I’m not optimistic, why should I wake up in the morning?” she says in a Boston-accented delivery so rapid-fire that she actually apologizes for her speed, explaining she can’t slow down or she’ll lose her train of thought. Businesses that disrupt existing models are “not a threat but an opportunity,” she adds. With an eye to the digital future, Redstone in 2011 became co-founder and managing partner of Advancit Capital, an investment firm that focuses on tech startups involved in media, entertainment and technology — it has invested in more than 50 companies including Maker Studios. “I’ve always thought these new companies were going to provide tremendous opportunities for traditional media companies to create content for different platforms and different verticals,” she says, pointing to virtual reality as an example of “a new vertical of content that didn’t exist five years ago.” 

    Viacom traces its origins to movie theaters, and Redstone still believes in that business. “There will always be a place for social moviegoing,” she says. “Nothing can compete with that.” She long has been an advocate for an improved theatergoing experience that includes “great service, great cocktails and great programming” that isn’t limited to films.

    Redstone has an array of causes to which she devotes herself, including board memberships at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and most recently, Our Time, an organization aimed at engaging young voters.

    On April 14 (her birthday), Redstone spoke on a panel at the White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice. “We do business all over the world, and when we think about doing business in other countries, the first thing we think about is the rule of law,” she said. “Is there political stability? Is there social stability, legal stability? Do we know we will get justice? And yet as leaders in the business community in the U.S., we often don’t give that a second thought. We assume that it exists — and it doesn’t.” Businesses must fight for people to have equal access to justice, she warned, because the absence of the rule of law produces social dysfunction and “chaos.”

    Redstone, who lives in Boston and is a divorced mother of three grown children and grandmother of two, says her usually upbeat attitude is challenged when it comes to gender bias in the entertainment business. Her awareness of the issue is of long-standing. “I used to practice criminal law, and it was so sexist,” she says. (Her law degree is from Boston University.) “We’re moving in the right direction,” she says. “But it’s tougher than I thought it would be.”

    Read more about Redstone here. 

  • Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis and Kerry Washington

    *New to list (Davis and Washington)

    Category: Power Squad 

    There are few more significant illustrations of power in Hollywood than owning an entire night of primetime, which is precisely what Rhimes can claim Thursdays on ABC. All the better when each of the series comprising that night resonates with millions, as Rhimes’ shows do on a weekly basis: Grey’s Anatomy, still a ratings powerhouse with 11 million viewers in its 12th season; Scandal, the No. 2 drama behind only Empire among the core 18-to-49 demo in its fifth season; and sophomore How to Get Away With Murder, which regularly garners 10 million viewers.

    In September the world was reminded that Rhimes’ impact extends beyond the ability to generate enviable ratings when Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama. Davis, a married mom who co-stars in DC’s forthcoming feature Suicide Squad, used the platform to thank Rhimes and Murder creator Pete Nowalk for helping to create roles that have “redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman [and] to be black.” Washington, nominated for her work on Scandal a year earlier, also has Rhimes to thank for her perch on TV’s A-list. That status already has yielded the married mother of one a starring role as Anita Hill in HBO’s upcoming telepic, Confirmation.

    But it’s Rhimes’ growing profile that is arguably most impressive. The prolific showrunner, who will add thriller The Catch to her Thursday lineup March 24, embarked on a press tour for her first book, Year of Yes, in November, with stops on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. She continues to add projects to her Shondaland development queue, too, just as she does magazine covers and Twitter followers (1.08 million), for whom she live-tweets each of her shows.

    Rhimes also has become a vocal supporter of women’s rights, both on her shows (a recent Scandal episode tackled Planned Parenthood defunding) or in the media.

    Read more about Rhimes, Davis and Washington here.

  • Rena Ronson

    *New to list

    Category: The Reps

    Indie-film doyenne Ronson worked with Noah Baumbach on Mistress America, sold to Fox Searchlight ahead of its Sundance debut; she brought in the financing for Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl and then sold it to Sony Pictures Classics; and she helped package Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, which also went to SPC after Toronto. She helped put together a unique financing deal for Emma Donoghue for her best-selling novel Room, allowing her to adapt her own screenplay.

    Read more about Ronson in The Reps.

  • Sonya Rosenfeld

    Category: The Reps

    Arguably no TV agent had as big a win in 2015 as Rosenfeld with the juggernaut Empire, which she helped put together (she introduced creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong to eventual executive producer Brian Grazer). “As an agent, your job is to advocate for your artists’ vision,” she says. Other key clients: Graham Yost and Dave Erickson. 

    Read more about Rosenfeld in The Reps.

  • Susan Rovner

    *New to list 

    Category: The TV Set 

    The 15-year Warner Bros veteran executive developed the precious few 2015 breakouts that broadcast had to offer in NBC’s Blindspot and CBS’ Supergirl. Rovner also is behind the genre shows — Arrow and The Flash — that have helped reinvigorate The CW. (Up next: Legends of Tomorrow, with Brandon Routh and Wentworth Miller.) On the cable side, she has overseen such big bets as Hulu’s Stephen King miniseries 11/22/63, Netflix’s Full House reboot Fuller House and HBO’s sci-fi thriller Westworld.

    Read more about Rovner in The TV Set.

  • Jennifer Salke

    Category: The TV Set 

    Salke’s network managed to launch a bona fide hit in Blindspot this fall and has rounded out the past two broadcast seasons at No. 1 in the 18-to-49 demographic — up from No. 4 for nearly a decade. The married mother of three, who moved from 20th Century Fox TV to NBC in 2011, also has oversight of scripted series at sibling studio Universal Television, which produces NBC hits The Blacklist and Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise.

    Read more about Salke on The TV Set.

  • Amy Schumer

    *New to list

    Category: Power Squad 

    It’s difficult to imagine any comedian, male or female, breaking out as big as Schumer did in 2015: the continued success (two Emmys) of her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer; the cultural and box-office impact ($140 million worldwide) of feature foray Trainwreck (Schumer wrote and starred); an HBO comedy special; and media darling status that seems to have the stamina of a marathoner. “I’m newly famous,” Schumer has taken to cracking during her latest stand-up tour, which has sold out arenas nationwide.

    She recently scored a $9 million deal for her upcoming book, got a tenfold pay raise for her next acting gig (a mother-daughter comedy from Fox) and is writing a vehicle for herself and pal Jennifer Lawrence — all while stirring a fresh feminist dialogue with her critically adored satire. “I think people hate women,” Schumer told THR earlier in 2015. “I don’t think they want to hear a woman talk for too long. A lot of people project their mom yelling at them. My [career] has been about tricking people into listening.”

    Read more about Schumer here. 

  • Nina Shaw

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Longtime client F. Gary Gray converted his Straight Outta Compton success into a deal to direct Furious 8. Shaw also reps Ava DuVernay and Lupita Nyong’o (Shaw accompanied her on her first return to Kenya since her Oscar). 

    Read more about Shaw in The Dealmakers.

  • Leslie Siebert

    Category: The Reps

    Few agents were named more frequently than Siebert during the 2015 Emmys, where both Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) and Allison Janney (Mom) thanked her from the podium. The Gersh lifer also put Kyle Chandler on Netflix’s Bloodline, which earned him another Emmy nom, Catherine Keener on HBO’s Show Me a Hero and David Schwimmer on FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

    Read more about Siebert in The Reps.

  • Stacey Snider

    Category: The Chiefs

    One year into her post as Fox chairman and as CEO Jim Gianopulos’ No. 2, Snider may not have been involved in greenlighting the studio’s 2015 slate of films, but she had a hand in their marketing and release, including box-office hit and awards contender The Martian and Paul Feig’s Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy. Fox releases two high-profile titles at Christmas, David O. Russell’s Joy and Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant. Also ahead: The Road Chip, the fourth installment in the billion-dollar Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise. Says the married mom of two daughters, “I love the resources of a big studio and the variety of films.”

    Read more about Snider in The Chiefs.

  • Jill Soloway

    *New to list

    Category: The Makers

    Her Amazon dramedy about a retired L.A. professor who comes out as transgender — inspired in part by Soloway’s own “Moppa” — earned 11 Emmy nominations this year, the most of any comedy series, and took home five trophies including Soloway’s directing win. Now the mom of two, who inked a lucrative overall deal with Amazon Studios in June, is working on a follow-up to 2005 memoir Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants.

    Read more about Soloway in The Makers.

  • Sandra Stern

    Category: The TV Set 

    Upped to president in September, the 12-year company vet has been the driving force in its TV group’s growth from $447 million in revenue in fiscal 2014 to nearly $600 million last year. The Brooklyn native, who bid goodbye to studio Emmy winner Mad Men this spring, spearheads strategy and dealmaking for a portfolio that encompasses more than 30 series, including Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, WGN America’s Manhattan, E!’s The Royals and Hulu’s Casual.

    Read more about Stern in The TV Set.

  • Meryl Streep

    Category: The Stars

    She already held the record for most Oscar nominations, but she extended her lead even further when she got her 19th — as supporting actress in 2014’s Into the Woods, which grossed $213 million worldwide. Though Ricki and the Flash disappointed, grossing only $40 million, she’s one of the few actresses of any age whose name helps modestly budgeted movies get made. Although she has just one scene as feminist leader Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette, she’s been a selling point for that film, and she already has completed the indie Florence Foster Jenkins, a hot title that Paramount snapped up in Toronto. This year, she funded a screenwriting lab for women over 40 to be run by New York Women in Film and the women filmmakers collective IRIS.

    Read more about Streep in The Stars.

  • Beth Swofford

    *New to list

    Category: The Reps

    Swofford reps the town’s most in-demand directors, from J.J. Abrams and Spectre’s Sam Mendes to Alejandro G. Inarritu, as well as stars including Sandra Bullock (whose Our Brand Is Crisis was a rare miss). 

    Read more about Swofford in The Reps.

  • Deborah Turness

    *New to list 

    Category: The TV Set 

    The British former ITV exec has brought new urgency to her domain; shows under her watch (and that of NBC News chairman Andy Lack, to whom she reports), including Today and Nightly News With Lester Holt, are besting the competition. Fending off an early challenge from ABC’s World News Tonight With David Muir, Holt now regularly wins the evening-news race. And so far this season, Today is topping ABC’s Good Morning America in the 25-to-54 demographic.

    Read more about Turness in The TV Set.

  • Nancy Utley

    Category: The Film Forces

    The doyenne of specialty film saw Searchlight walk away with the Oscar for best picture for the second straight year, this time for Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman, which also impressed at the U.S. box office ($42.3 million). Wild ($37.9 million) also was an awards darling, garnering Reese Witherspoon a best actress Oscar nomination. Utley has three films vying for major awards attention this year: Brooklyn, off to a strong start in select theaters; Youth, which began its limited run Dec. 4; and Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-shortlisted doc He Named Me Malala, which has grossed a solid $2.6 million.

    Read more about Utley in The Film Forces.

  • Dana Walden

    Category: Power Squad

    Among many new feathers in her 2015 cap, Walden can take credit for launching the biggest broadcast hit in years. The chairman and CEO of Fox TV Group and her partner Gary Newman saw their first season as heads of the network (Fox Broadcasting Co.) and the studio (20th Century Fox Television) defined by the improbable rise of Empire. The Big Four’s highest-rated series, it’s averaging a 7.7 rating among adults 18-to-49 in live-plus-7. But the married mother of two daughters, who calls Empire’s success “extremely gratifying,” has not indulged in the luxury of a victory lap. She instead is focused on moving the chains — Fox recently climbed out of the No. 4 slot, replacing ABC as No. 3 despite misfires including Minority Report — and changing the conversation around what qualifies as a success in the contemporary broadcast landscape.

    In November, Walden and Newman told their 7,300-plus staffers that the network was turning its back on live-plus-same-day ratings. “We’re looking for growth over a seven-day period and, ultimately, a multiplatform picture of our shows,” says Walden, citing the delayed-viewing uptick of Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens as just one piece of evidence that the morning-after ratings discussion is antiquated. “You find yourself in a trap when you’re releasing — to your entire company and your creative partners — ratings that you’re telling them are irrelevant. It felt hypocritical.” Fox’s total multiplatform audience is up 14 percent for the 2015-16 season. And that’s a stat worth bragging about for a woman who controls companies that generate $7 billion in revenue and boast some of the biggest hits on competing networks such as Modern Family (ABC), American Horror Story (FX) and Homeland (Showtime).


    Read more about Walden here

  • Ad Sales Stars

    Category: The TV Set 

    Ross unloaded close to 80 percent of her net’s primetime for $2.6 billion in commitments from buyers this season. Wang achieved the highest rate increases among her competitors (close to 6 percent) during this year’s upfront selling market. And Yaccarino secured nearly $6 billion at the upfronts across broadcast and cable, while digital video sales were up 50 percent.

    Read more about Wang, Ross and Yaccarino in The TV Set.

  • Emma Watts

    Category: The Film Forces

    Big wins for Watts in 2015 include Ridley Scott’s The Martian — it has grossed $555 million worldwide — and Kingsman: The Secret Service, which launched a new franchise after earning $414.4 million. Watts’ penchant for fresh talent pays off more often that not, though Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four proved a bomb. “You have to take a chance on new directors,” she says. Major swings in 2016 include X-Men: Apocalypse and Independence Day: Resurgence. And Scott begins shooting Alien: The Convenant in February.

    Read more about Watts in The Film Forces.

  • Oprah Winfrey and Sheri Salata

    Category: The Chiefs

    Starting the year with the cable network’s most watched quarter (an average 581,000 primetime viewers), Winfrey and Salata finally have the breathing room to be more playful in their programming and build on their sprawlingly successful suite of Tyler Perry series. This year saw the Discovery co-owned network snap up a project from Winfrey collaborator Ava DuVernay and the high-profile CEO/actress sign on to recur in the megachurch drama Greenleaf — and to pen a memoir, out in 2017.

    Read more about Winfrey and Salata in The Chiefs.

  • Heads of Business Operations

    Category: The Dealmakers

    Barak negotiated talent and production pacts for Stephen Colbert and James Corden’s late-night shows and is the reason the studio fully owns both for the first time. Roberts, who oversees dealmaking at 10 networks and two studios, closed deals on Bravo and E!’s first scripted series. Winograde oversees budgets in excess of $1 billion and a staff of 93.

    Read more about Winograde, Roberts and Barak in The Dealmakers.

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Category: The Stars

    The Oscar-winning Walk the Line star has branched out with a busy producing career. Her 3-year-old Pacific Standard production company, run with Bruna Papandrea, is giving Scott Rudin a run for his money by nabbing rights to mega-best-sellers like Gone Girl (which earned $369 million worldwide) and Wild ($53 million). Pacific Standard’s notable projects in the works include Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies at HBO (Witherspoon will star opposite Nicole Kidman), Kimberly McCreight’s YA book The Outliers at Lionsgate and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s nonfiction tome Ashley’s War at Fox 2000. And though her 2015 comedy Hot Pursuit was a disappointment ($51 million worldwide), Witherspoon still can get a nontentpole film moving at a studio based on her name alone.

    Read more about Witherspoon in The Stars.

  • Susan Wojcicki

    Category: The Chiefs

    In her second year running the Google-owned platform, Wojcicki has pushed the ad-supported business into the subscription fray with the launch of YouTube Red, its $10-a-month app — now the flagship in a suite including a long-awaited music service. The Silicon Valley-based Wojcicki, a mother of five, is looking to make an even bigger impact through the launch of an original programming division led by former MTV programming boss Susanne Daniels.

    Read more about Wojcicki in The Chiefs.

  • Cyma Zarghami

    Category: The Chiefs 

    In February, the longtime Nickelodeon chief saw her portfolio expand with the addition of CMT and TV Land. Zarghami has made a big push for younger skewing originals at both, and TV Land’s average age already has fallen three years with new additions like Darren Star’s Younger. At flagship Nickelodeon, ratings finally have begun to rebound.

    Read more about Zarghami in The Chiefs.