TV’s smartest: The best of the rest
As it turns out, there are more than 25 intelligent people working in television today. Here’s a sampling of a few who, for a variety of reasons, didn’t make the list in 2008 — though doing business with them is still a smart move.
1. Steve McPherson, President, ABC Entertainment
Committed to both quality and hits — how quaint! Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, and Pushing Daisies went toes up, but his midseason offerings, including a Bobby Cannavale reboot of Cupid, have buzz.
2. Jerry Bruckheimer, Superproducer
The CSI impresario remains a savvy titan. Though new offering Eleventh Hour is losing too much of its CSI lead-in audience, CBS just ordered five more episodes.
3. John Landgraf, President, FX
Upheld his network’s rep as the darling of basic cable with Damages, which earned Emmy love. That’s a comfort when The Shield has signed off and Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck aren’t back until next year.
4. Greg Berlanti, Aspiring Superproducer
His Brothers and Sisters found its legs, but Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone lost theirs. Still, ABC Studios has plenty of confidence in Berlanti: They re-signed him to a multi-million-dollar development deal in July.
5. Peter Liguori, Chairman, Fox Broadcasting Co.
Do Not Disturb did not compute and The Sarah Connor Chronicles is struggling, but he landed J.J. Abrams’ Fringe, one of the season’s few promising new shows.
6. Mark Burnett, Reality Mogul
The Survivor guru continues to line up new series (MTV’s Rock Band Battle), and he even makes money off failures: Did you know Versus is airing new episodes of his boxing show, The Contender? Seriously!