Everything you need to know about who shook hands (and stabbed backs) in Hollywood this year

Last year, we shredded the list. We tossed our traditional Power Issue rankings and simply wrote about the people in Hollywood we felt had used their influence in the most positive and creative ways. Readers seemed to enjoy the change, and the entertainment industry heaved a collective sigh of relief. So, naturally, we’re chucking all that and changing everything again.

This year, we’re going to reveal how juice in this town really gets squeezed. We’ll go beyond the glamour of power — the Gulfstream jets, the Hummer limos, the $30,000 gift bags — to reveal how, in Hollywood, the quest for clout is a brutal, bare-knuckle rumble that breaks out every day (usually over Cobb salad in Beverly Hills). It’s what players like to call ”The Deal.”

On the following pages, we’ll tell you about a deal that turned one giant media empire into two; about a divorce that banished two brothers from the studio they founded; about deals that could reshape entire sectors of the industry; and others that make you wonder, What’s the deal with that? (Yes, Disney and Mel Gibson really are making an all-Mayan action movie.)

Also in this year’s package: who we would hire to run our own film and TV empire.