The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here's who they picked:
Nancy Tellem | Microsoft's president of entertainment and digital media
Long fascinated with changes in consumer behavior, Tellem is now playing an important role in determining what appeals to younger consumers accustomed to getting their entertainment on multiple screens. She is trying to build on the momentum that Microsoft has achieved by encouraging millions of consumers to consider the
Microsoft's slate of new shows designed to appeal to the digitally connected generation is expected to launch in the first half of 2014. Microsoft also brought Tellem on board to make inroads with Hollywood's creative community. One of the first projects she announced was a live-action TV series, produced by
Tellem was trained as a lawyer and worked her way up the ranks in business affairs at Lorimar,
— Meg James
Mike Hopkins | Hulu chief executive
Now Hulu is at a crossroads, and it's up to Hopkins to navigate the thicket of problems that Hulu created for cable TV companies and Hulu's owners. Hopkins also must figure out how to keep Hulu relevant as more aggressive digital services,
Hulu is poised to remain a significant player in digital media as more people migrate to streaming services. The Santa Monica company's revenue nearly doubled in 2013 to $1 billion, and new advertisers have jumped on board.
Observers are watching to see whether Hopkins will reposition the service. Some expect Hulu to become an offering from cable and satellite TV companies trying to retain subscribers who want to watch TV on their laptops, tablets and smartphones — not just the big screen at home.
Hopkins, who has an MBA From
— Meg James
Issa Rae | Actress-writer-director
The 28-year-old actress and writer first attracted notice with "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," a Web series that follows the title character, J, through comically uncomfortable situations on the job and in her personal life (including one moment in which a white co-worker at a call center attempts to touch her hair).
Rae's sharp writing attracted the notice of Pharrell Williams, who featured the series on his I Am Other YouTube channel, and also of
She created, wrote and sometimes directed the Web series "The Choir," a comedy set in the United Church of Holy Christ in Fellowship's choir as the members attempt to rebuild their dying congregation through innovative and sometimes inappropriate ways. When not in front of camera, Rae is writing a book of personal essays.
— Dawn Chmielewski