"Entertainment Weekly" named its Top 25 Smartest People In TV this week. The list is, shall we say, eclectic.
Seth MacFarlane topped the list as the creator of the Fox animated series "Family Guy" and "American Dad" as well as the upcoming "Cleveland Show."
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MacFarlane earned the top ranking based on the $100 million deal he has with the network, seemingly a good investment since the series net the network an estimated $1 billion in revenue. Who says the economy is in bad shape?
I'm not sure that being the highest-paid writer makes him the "smartest," but MacFarlane is laughing his way to the bank, so what does he care?
My choice would have been EW's No. 2 pick, Tina Fey, who racked up most of the comedy Emmys this year as both the writer and the star of "30 Rock," not to mention her stint as Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live." (And a hit summer film, "Baby Mama," to boot.)
The rest of the list is populated by stars, producers and network executives, though the order is a little strange. For example, Tyler Perry, who has had more success as a writer, director and actor in movies than TV, is No. 4 on the list, a bit high considering he has one sitcom on the air on TBS.
Meanwhile, Christina Wayne, the VP of programming for AMC, who helped put the likes of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" on the air (as well as the upcoming remake of "The Prisoner" and a couple of other series), turned AMC into a major player. But she's only No. 21. Jon Stewart is No. 24.
Jerry Bruckheimer, who produces all of the "CSIs" as well as "Eleventh Hour" and "The Amazing Race," didn't even make the list.
EW really didn't set forth any criteria for its rankings, which is a shame. My biggest peeve was the omission of John Landgraf, the president of FX, which gave us such series as "Rescue Me," "Damages," "The Sons of Anarchy," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and, of course, "The Shield."
You can check out the full list in the current issue or at EW.com. My only consolation? NBC head honchos Jeff Zucker and Ben Silverman didn't make the list, although the magazine does debate whether Silverman should be there. Um, that would be a no.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Wow, just two weeks before Christmas, and we're still getting a lot of new episodes of several series, a sign of how things have changed. ABC is all new with its soon-to-be-gone Wednesday lineup of "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money."
NBC has new episodes of "Life" at 9 p.m. and "Law & Order" at 10 p.m. CBS has new installments of "Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried," plus "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."
Fox has another episode of "Secret Millionaire" (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Finally, "POV" (PBS, 9 p.m.) has the documentary "Inheritance," about the daughter of notorious Nazi Amon Goeth (the Ralph Fiennes character in "Schlinder's List") seeking out one of the Jewish victims who survived, Helen Jonas. The two meet at the Plaszow concentration camp to talk about their lives.