Top ten lists are competitive by nature. They serve as a point of measuring one person’s commitment and accomplishments to another person’s commitments and accomplishments. While there is always a source of tension of who made what list and why this person was left off, no doubt people who make the lists deserve to be there for the most part. For the Top Ten Important People of the Decade in Entertainment, the qualifications were simple.
All the person had to do was have a lasting effect throughout the decade in the realm of entertainment, in some cases I had to go with companies. Since a company is only as good as the people behind the scenes they too deserve to be recognized. While the list could be expanded to include a larger amount of entertainers, most of the people we expect to find in the top ten most important people of the decade in entertainment are here, as well as maybe a few surprises, take a look:
#10 Heath Ledger
The only thing keeping Heath Ledger from moving higher on this list is his untimely death back in 2008. While his death was big news as most unexpected passings are, we were left with one of the greatest performances in movie history in The Dark Knight. His take on the Joker will long be remembered as fantastic. However, that was not the only role he played in the decade, as many people can attest his performance in Brokeback Mountainwas riveting as well.
#9 Anthony E. Zuiker
There is a great chance you have seen something Anthony E. Zuiker has worked on written or produced. If you do not know the name, here are three letters to help clue you in: C.S.I. While the days of C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation dominating the airwaves may be over, his work on all three of the shows deserves to be recognized with some of the great names of the decade. All the C.S.I. shows are great, and Anthony E. Zuiker is just one piece of the puzzle, but this guy seems to keep everything together.
The folks at Nintendo brought casual video game playing into vogue with the release of the Nintendo Wii. While the Wii appealed to several different types of players, the company’s famous hand held game the Nintendo DS, evolved into the Nintendo DS Lite then to the Nintendo Dsi. Nintendo has moved millions of each systems and has brought respect back to a brand that was on the fringe of relevancy since its’ 1980’s heyday. The big question here is can Nintendo continue the momentum moving into the next decade?
#7 Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell is the brains behind American Idol. No, seriously there are brains behind the juggernaut of a television show. While American Idol does not pull in the ratings it once did, the show is still a monster for Fox. While Simon Cowell may come across brash and abrasive, at least he is honest. Hard to argue the line of success the guy has in music and television. Sorry Paula, without Simon, there would be no American Idol.
#6 Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp had a pretty impressive run in the decade. A few little movies about a pirate captain, one as a chocolate maker, and a few others as well. Johnny Depp brings instant credibility to any project. More importantly for studios he likely adds a hefty plus to the box office gross as well. Imagine Captain Jack Sparrow being played by another actor? Impossible. Johnny Depp made a ton of cash in the past decade, and will continue to add to his impressive resume into the next decade.
Pixar experienced a type of run seldom seen from any filmmaker. Pixar is responsible for The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and Wall E. The great minds at Pixar have almost completely eliminated traditional animation in the movies, and have made themselves a lot of money at the same time. With out Pixar, the last decade would have lacked some its’ most popular movies, not to mention groundbreaking visuals.
#4 Mark Burnett
While Mark Burnett is best known for a little game show called Survivor. He is also responsible for many other perhaps lesser known shows as well, but the crown jewel of his collection is his trademark of dropping thirty people in some remote part of the world at having them vote each other off one at a time. Survivor is in many ways the first reality show that really caught the attention of the American viewer, and it has changed television, some ways for the good, and others, well not so good.
#3 Oprah Winfrey
The power Oprah Winfrey wields in the world of entertainment is nothing short of legendary. Authors hope to land on her book club list, singers would love to do a sit down with her, and her legions of fans adore her. Most recently her decision to shelf her talk show has caused networks to have to rethink their entire production schedule. That is some power. But Oprah touches minds and hearts, and helps open them as well. She is without a doubt one of the most important people in the world of entertainers over the last decade..
#2 J. J. Abrams
J. J. Abrams had quite the decade. Many folks remember him for Cloverfield and the Star Trek reboot, but plenty of people will remember him for a little television series called Lost. The producer extraordinaire has been responsible for several great entertainment related wins over the past decade and looks to keep up that progress after the end of Lost this season.
#1 J. K. Rowling
Lets see, millions of books sold, check. Books turned into the one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time, check. Millions upon millions of fans, check. No doubt, J.K. Rowling earns the top spot on my list for most import people of the decade in entertainment. No one created the kind of buzz that the Harry Potter author did. In fact, the phenomenon that is Harry Potter is now the stick by which all would-be franchises will be measured in the future. This is a lady who made reading cool again, for kids and adults alike. The characters she created and the vivid world they inhabit have even produced their own theme park in Central Florida. Sounds like a guy not too many years ago…