See who's poised to make power moves. Keep an eye on these entertainment movers and shakers, who are swiftly ascending their industry ladders

By EW Staff
October 18, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Halle Berry: Lance Staedler/Corbis Outline

KEVIN REILLY Choosing viewership and brand building over quick cash, FX Networks Entertainment President Reilly is establishing eight-year-old FX as much more than a pasture where old ”Buffy” episodes go to die. Ratings soared with ”The Shield,” a cop drama that prompted sponsors to pull ads — but also netted rave reviews, solid ratings, and an Emmy for star Michael Chiklis.

JENNIFER GARNER Apparently, there’s this little TV show called ”Alias” — God knows if anyone’s watching, but we hear she’s good. So good, in fact, that she’s already taken home a Golden Globe for best dramatic actress on TV. So good that Spielberg’s already cast her in December’s ”Catch Me if You Can.” So good that a costarring role in the upcoming superhero saga ”Daredevil” (as Ben Affleck’s double-bladed nemesis/love interest Elektra) already has producers talking about a possible spin-off franchise. If we were partial to puns, we’d use ”electrifying” here.

SHERATON KALOURIA Under Kalouria, Senior VP of NBC Daytime Programming, a lot more people have been tuning in — and by ”people” we mean the lusted-after ”women 18-49” variety, with whom NBC is currently No. 1 for the first time in network history, thanks to ”Passions” and ”Days of Our Lives.” But tune in tomorrow: Surely it’s only a matter of time before his evil twin shows up to supplant him.

THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL Founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal envisioned it as Hollywood’s memorial tribute to the victims of Sept. 11, and a bid to revitalize Lower Manhattan — and, whaddaya know, it turned out to be a real humdinger of a film festival, too. Combining big-ticket premieres (”Insomnia”), big-name guests (Nelson Mandela), and a dash of indie cred (”Roger Dodger”), the first Tribeca festival drew stars and major media attention.

SAM RAIMI Long renowned as an off-kilter visionary, the genre-blending Übergeek who gave us the ”Evil Dead” trilogy, ”A Simple Plan,” and ”Xena: Warrior Princess” finally found a mainstream project that agreed with him — and with just about everyone else. ”Spider-Man” grossed $400 million-plus but also earned the ultimate stamp of approval: Comics-loving Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon has agreed to work on the sequel’s script.

RITA WILSON A key ”Wedding” planner, Wilson convinced husband Tom Hanks — and his Playtone production company — to give Nia Vardalos’ one-woman show his blessing and will subsequently nab a big fat paycheck from her first-ever film-production effort. She’s upping her on-screen visibility as well, with a lauded supporting role in this fall’s ”Auto Focus.”

HALLE BERRY The first Oscar-armed Bond girl propelled herself to the A list — and left much of Hollywood speechless — with her weepy win for ”Monster’s Ball” and two sure things on the way, ”Die Another Day” and ”X-Men 2.” Berry also plans to star in thrillers ”Need” and ”The Guide” as well as in a ”Foxy Brown” remake, part of her two-picture deal with MGM.

BOB BERNEY Name any recent major crossover hit, and Berney was probably the guy who brought it to your local multiplex. As marketing guru for boutique distribution companies (first Newmarket, then IFC Films, and now Newmarket again), he’s overseen the launches of ”Memento,” ”Y Tu Mamá También,” and ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

MICHAEL TOLLIN & BRIAN ROBBINS With three shows on The WB’s fall schedule — ”Birds of Prey,” ”What I Like About You,” and ”Smallville” — and more on the way, this pair is keeping the frog network pumped with youth-friendly fare. They’ve also developed a loyal roster of emerging talent, including Nickelodeon mainstay Nick Cannon and ”What I Like”’s Amanda Bynes.

ALFONSO CUARÓN The Mexican director scored an art-house hit with the two-guys-and-a-girl road-trip flick ”Y Tu Mamá También,” which will likely land on ”Tu” many top 10 lists. Next, he’ll go from horndogs to Hogwarts, taking over the reins of Warner Bros.’ potentially most lucrative franchise with 2004’s ”Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

MORGAN ENTREKIN The Grove/Atlantic publisher who gave us ”Cold Mountain,” ”Sex and the City,” and ”Black Hawk Down” continued his streak this year with ”The Sexual Life of Catherine M.” and ”Gould’s Book of Fish” — a dazzling lineup for an indie house this size.

GRAYDON CARTER Irony is dead — long live irony. Carter wins either way. Branching out into producing, the Vanity Fair editor has an Emmy in hand for his CBS documentary ”9/11” (we’re resisting the temptation to say something ironic), and ”The Kid Stays in the Picture” (the Robert Evans biopic he produced) continues to garner acclaim. Note to Graydon: Even in times when irony’s imperiled, ironing one’s hair remains an option.

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