The 2014 Young & Hungry List came out today, giving us a look at which young writers are on the verge of breaking out. While we’ve already taken a look at who those writers are, as well as some of the standouts of previous years, we also wanted to take a moment to examine the writers’ representation. These are the agents and managers who are taking a chance on new writers and bringing fresh voices into the industry.
In previous years, agents at UTA have dominated the list, with 28 clients on the 2011 list — a third again of the second-highest agency (WME), and more than twice the number of the third-highest (ICM). That trend has started to taper, however, and this year, there’s much more parity among the major agencies: CAA, Verve, and WME are tied for first with 12 clients each, with UTA just barely in second with 10. It’s worth noting that the top agencies on the Y&H list are, almost to a one, the top agencies on the 2013 Hit List and Black List.
Circle of Confusion and Energy Entertainment topped the list of management companies this year, with seven clients each on the list. Both have been consistently well represented on the list in years past, and both are major presences in field of both management and production (Circle of Confusion has The Walking Dead, and Energy has Extant), which goes to show that you’re never to big to look for new ideas. Energy head Brooklyn Weaver was the Manager of the Year in the 2013 Spec Book, with 16 specs out on the market, and 14 of them set up by year’s end. This year, Weaver topped the list of individual managers with six clients on the Y&H list — exactly as many as he had last year. In 2012, he had four writers on the list. Weaver also topped the managers of last year’s Hit List, with eight clients on the list.
This year, for the first time, we’ve divided our list of individual reps into agents and managers. There were just too many to put into a single, manageable list. We’re pretty pleased with that; it means that there are a lot of agents and managers out there who are branching out to find new, untested talent.
Of particular note are agents like Rob Herting, who had four writers on the 2012 list, and topped the 2013 list with an astounding eight clients. This year, Herting once again has four clients on the list. With Herting recently having made a big move from Verve to CAA, it’s heartening to see his risks paying off for him. Also of note is Tanya Cohen, who has six clients on this year’s list (tying for first with Bill Weinstein). She first appeared on the 2012 list with a single client, and then repped four of last year’s writers. Since writers are not eligible to appear on the Young & Hungry List more than once, this means that Herting and Cohen consistently seeking out new and original talent — and that they’re very good at it.
Even heavyweight agents like Charlie Ferraro, and fast risers like Jon Cassir, are well represented on the list. Ferraro had four clients on the 2011 list, seven on the 2012 list, and three on the 2013 list. This year, he has three on the list again. Ferraro was also (along with Herting and Adam Levine, who has also had clients on the Y&H list for the last three years), the number one agent on the 2013 Hit List; taking on young writers seems to be doing well by him. Cassir, meanwhile, is third on the 2014 Y&H list, with five clients, and in 2013 — his first full year as an agent at CAA — he had three. As their combined 25 appearances on the list suggest, agents like Ferraro and Cassir stay on top of their game by never getting complacent. They’re constantly on the lookout for the next big thing.
One thing we can take away from this year’s list is this: If the writers on the Y&H list are hungry for work, it’s clear that the industry is just as hungry for the fresh voices that they bring.