Running the Show: Top Ten Most Powerful Women in TV

These ladies are the brains behind some of our fave shows.


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Hitting TV Gold - Women have been running both the daytime and primetime television circuites for some time now and they're showing no signs of slowing down. While some, like the New York Times, seem to associate Black female dominance with the "angry black woman" syndrome, these women prove that this ridiculous notion is nothing but a silly presumption.(Photos from Left: PNP / WENN, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


2 / 11

Shonda Rhimes - Her massive hit Grey's Anatomy made her primetime's only female showrunner, and with Private Practice, Scandal, and the new Viola Davis-led How to Get Away With Murder, this mother-of-two is one of TV's most bankable talents.  (Photo: Nikki Nelson/


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Queen Latifah - This leading lady has exercised her talents as an actress in Living Single, executive producer in VH1's Single Ladies and BET's Let's Stay Together, and now talk show host with The Queen Latifah Show, which has just begun its full fledged second season. (Photo: JLN Photography/


4 / 11

Suzanne de Passe - From a humble start as Berry Gordy's assistant, de Passe rode the Motown wave and became the force behind some of the best Black television of the past few decades. Sister, Sister, Showtime at the Apollo and On Our Own are just some of the hit shows with her name on them. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


5 / 11

Wendy Williams - Radio has Howard Stern, primetime has Simon Cowell, but daytime audiences looking for a straight-talking, pull-no-punches voice tune in by the millions to Wendy. The shock jock-ette, who executive produces her daily talk show, is known for her bold opinions and the occasional celeb spat. The people love her so much that the season six premiere of her blockbuster talk show beat the likes of Ellen, and Kelly and Michael for the top spot during premiere week. (Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images)


6 / 11

Tracey Edmonds - She has arm-candy good looks but Edmonds is a force to be reckoned with in the business world. The producer, CEO and manager has conquered television (along with film and music) with College Hill and Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, and even delved into the world of film, producing 2011's hit romantic comedy Jumping the Broom. (Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images)


7 / 11

Shaunie O'Neal - It isn't just the girls in front of the camera that are having fun on TV. Some of the biggest power players on the small screen are Black women. Shaunie O'Neal went from Shaq's arm candy to reality maven with the Basketball Wives franchise. But did she create a monster?  (Photo: CPA,

Tyra Banks - July 31, 2013 ? We're learning how to smize on 106. Tyra Banks is set to hit 106 & Park and give us the runway training of our lives.You don't want to miss this top model show us her runway walk and what's new! Tonight at 6P/5C.

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Tyra Banks - Don't mistake Miss Tyra for just another pretty — uh, drop dead gorgeous — face. The former supermodel reinvented herself as business mogul with America's Next Top Model, the highly-addictive competition series that has run for an astounding 21 cycles on the CW. Not content with just one monster hit, Banks also launched her own daily talk show in 2005 which ran for five years. She's currently in the works of returning to daytime TV with a new talk show of a different style. We're waiting, Tyra!  (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)


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Mara Brock Akil - After cutting her teeth as a staff writer on Moesha and The Jamie Foxx Show, Akil graduated to creating her own show Girlfriends, the success of which lead to a spin-off, The Game, and a flourishing film career. Most recently, the Akil brand grew even greater with the introduction of the BET original series Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union. (Photo: Leon/PictureGroup)


10 / 11

Oprah Winfrey - There's no way to overstate the impact Winfrey has had on television. From local newscaster to the richest woman in the world, whose influence can make or break companies, clean up reputations and sway elections. On New Year's Day 2011, Winfrey took the huge leap from daytime to network boss, creating OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Though OWN struggled to stay afloat in the beginning, it's now become a ratings beast with impressive orignal programming like Oprah's Next Chapter and The Haves and the Have Nots. (Photo: Hall/Pena,


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Debra L. Lee - When BET founder Robert Johnson stepped down in 2006, he left his baby in the talented hands of Lee. The South Carolina native spent 19 years with the network, in various positions, before taking over as Chairman and CEO, and is the force behind many of the most beloved shows on the air today. Making the ultimate boss move, Lee expanded the network even further in 2009, creating CENTRIC, and recently revamped it as the first network specifically made for African-American women. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)