With all the Primetime Emmy Awards already given out and the excitement just behind us, there were some “stars,” we think, who didn’t get proper recognition… Entertainment site Zimbio has tuned into the social media mavens, stars under 30 and even some unexpected icons who currently wield the most impact on and off the small screen from Kelly Ripa to Snooki and everyone in between. They ran the numbers, quantified the data, and tallied the tweets to determine the most powerful women in television in five key categories:
Social Media: Ellen DeGeneres (Twitter Followers: 13.4 million, Facebook Fans: 3.5 million)—”Laugh. Dance. Tweet.” That’s the headline on the front page of Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter feed, and it perfectly describes the joyful comedienne/talk show host’s social media philosophy. DeGeneres is a consistent, if not prolific, Tweeter who loves to post pictures and links to recent interviews, best wishes to her favorite celebs, and lighthearted quips like, “Where do I vote for Michelle Obama‘s arms?” Just like her daily talk show, Ellen’s social media presence is refreshingly positive and not afraid to be a little bit (or a lot) silly.
Actresses: Melissa McCarthy—This Mike & Molly star is a mold-breaker who doesn’t look like most women on TV and is proud of it. The actress and mom worked her way up the ranks for years, appearing in lots of smaller roles before nabbing the role of Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls. But it took a sitcom about a couple that meets at Overeaters Anonymous and a fearlessly funny turn in Bridesmaids to truly make McCarthy a star. A surprise Emmy and one Oscar nomination later, the actress is riding high and loving life.
Under 30: Honey Boo Boo (Age 7)—Even if you don’t like Honey Boo Boo, you probably spent at least part of your summer talking about her. The seven-year-old, whose real name is Alana Thompson, had one of the most buzzed about new shows to come around in a long time thanks to her proudly redneck family and their jaw-dropping antics. TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo dominated the summer TV conversations, and also boasted some impressive ratings, even beating out the Republican National Convention during its time slot. It’s hard to say just how long America’s love affair with Honey Boo Boo will last, but it’s safe to say that Alana and the rest of the Thompson family are enjoying their ride on the 15-Minutes-of-Fame train.
Personalities: Judge Judy—Judy Sheindlin passed the New York bar exam in 1965 and quickly became known for her no-nonsense attitude in family court cases. After retiring as a family court judge in 1996, she was approached about doing a small syndicated court series that would feature real cases and real rulings. Sixteen years later, Judge Judy is the most watched show in all of daytime and Sheindlin makes an astounding $45 million per year. She’s also got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a few best-selling novels.
Behind the Scenes: Shonda Rhimes (Creator, Showrunner, Writer — Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal)—Most people would be content with one hit television show, but this hard working writer/producer not only helms long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, but she also calls the shots on Grey’s spin-off Private Practice and D.C. drama Scandal. Rhimes’ shows have become fan favorites not just for their high-stakes drama and scintillating romances, but also for their colorblind casting. Diversity on television is an issue dear to the showrunner’s heart, and one she’s been outspoken about in the past. With over 27 million people watching her three shows every week, Shonda Rhimes is not only TV’s most prolific writer/producer, but also one of its most powerful voices.