Whoopi Goldberg, Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry appear on Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Smartest People in TV, a list of small-screen titans who are driving today’s sharpest shows and deals.
Goldberg and her co-hosts on “The View” were listed at No. 25.5 for “juicing their ratings by pumping up their political banter.” During election week, “The View” reached No. 1 in total daytime viewers for the first time in 12 seasons.
Banks, 35, ranked No. 23 on the list. EW noted, “She’s still in the running towards becoming America’s next top TV mogul. Her talk show (moving from syndication to The CW next fall) has the youngest median age in daytime, and ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ which just completed its 11th cycle, remains The CW’s highest-rated series. (Spin-off ‘Operation Fabulous’ launches next year.) Now the Emmy winner is developing other reality projects that fit the Banks ‘brand,’ like ABC’s upcoming ‘True Beauty,’ and she recently branched into film with the direct-to-DVD tween drama ‘The Clique.'”
Winfrey came in 6th on the tally because “her talk show still rules daytime, her first foray into reality (‘Oprah’s Big Give’) averaged 11.6 million viewers, and she’ll launch her own network — appropriately named OWN — in 2009,” said EW. “Her production company, Harpo, responsible for daytime hits ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘Rachael Ray,’ will debut a new series next fall with Oprah staple Dr. Mehmet Oz. All this and she was funny on 30 Rock (‘Sweater capes!’).”
Atlanta-based mogul Perry ranked 4th for proving that “one need not exist within the borders of Hollywood to become an industry heavyweight. Through his Tyler Perry Studios, he created and produced ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ — and persuaded TBS to buy 90 additional episodes in 2006 after a 10-show run earned major ratings. Then in August, he struck a deal with the cable net to produce a new sitcom, ‘Meet the Browns,’ based on his hit play and movie. The biggest sign of his growing success? This fall, Perry ditched his 70,000-square-foot studio for a twice-the-size production complex in Atlanta, which includes five soundstages and a backlot.”
Seth MacFarlane, the executive producer of “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and the forthcoming “The Cleveland Show,” topped the list. EW noted: “The apple-faced prankster secured a full-season order for a ‘Guy’ spin-off called ‘The Cleveland Show,’ and he still manages to find time to shoot his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Web shorts (and animated ads) for a separate deal with Google. With Guy reruns airing approximately 20 hours a week on various networks, it’s no wonder MacFarlane is now the highest-paid writer in TV.