After we release our annual Hit List every year, we take a moment to look over the stats and numbers on the year, and punch in on how they compare to the stats of all of the Hit Lists before. With 2016 being our 7th annual list (2010-2016) we not only had a lot of projects and names to pour over, but a lot of fun and insightful trends, stats and analysis to pour over. Below is a deconstruction of this years names, numbers and stats and how they compare to the seven years of THE HIT LIST.
And, keep an eye out for our end of year HIT LIST vs. BLACK LIST stats coming Friday!
HOW WE GOT HERE:
This year we had the largest voting pool to date with 539 of the 600 voters invited turning in ballots before deadline and accumulating 2,590 votes. Of those votes, 2,245 would make this year’s list, with 660 of those going toward the Top 10 alone. Of the 372 eligible spec scripts this year 238 different scripts were voted for, with 92 making the cut with seven votes or more, and 146 falling short with 6 votes or less. Of those 146, almost half (72) earned just 1 vote.
What were some of the highlights of the 2016 list?
Netflix entered the studio realm of the Hit List in style, landing 3 of their projects on the list in their first year, and tying Paramount for the number two spot only behind Fox, who had 5 projects on this years list. Noticeably absent from the 2016 list was Warner Bros., who became only the second major studio to ever fail to make a Hit List (Paramount failed to do so in 2015). However, though WB was left to check a zero next to their name in 2016, they still site 8 projects above Fox overall with 29 projects represented since 2010.
This year we saw the highest number of female writers (22) on not only the Hit List, but on any of the annual best of lists (Hit List, Black List, Blood List, Brit List, Young & Hungry List) ever. That number rose from the previous 21 we saw grace the list last year, when we’d originally set the record with 20.
The 92 scripts on this year’s list tied our first Hit List in 2010 for the most scripts recognized on the list. However, the 2010 list only required 6 votes to make the list, while the 2016 list required 7. To give you some insight, this year more than a dozen scripts earned 6 votes that just missed the list.
While the 2016 list saw drama, comedy and thrillers top the list for the third year in a row, it was the surge for all time highs of sci-fi, period pieces, biopics and romance tales that really set the pace for what we saw the spec market shift towards in 2016.
Though the number of unique management companies and agencies were down from previous years on this year’s list, the number of individual agents (121) tied last years record, while the number of projects with agents at the time of announcement (81) set a new record jumping from 80 in 2015, and the number of projects with managers (86) just slipped from 88 in 2015.
For the first time ever the top Individual Agents and Individual Managers had all earned the Top Rep titles before, as 2012 & 2013 list topper Charles Ferraro of UTA tied 2014 list topper Tanya Cohen of WME each with 7 projects, and 2010, 2012 & 2014 list topped Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment took the title for a record fourth time with 8 projects on the list.
THE TOP 10:
The difference between first and second place this year was once again incredibly close, with only a 3 vote difference between the 81 votes coming in for Steven Rogers’ I, TONYA, and 78 for Nick Yarborough’s LETTERS FROM ROSEMARY, the second smallest divide since last year was only separated by a single vote. From first to tenth, the number dropped by 26 votes, but still maintained a very healthy count, with 55 votes, or roughly 10% of all voters voting for Jesse Maiman’s BEING CHRISTIAN.
WME dominated the Top 10, with 5 of the 9 at the top who have agents being represented there – the most any agency has had in the Top 10 previously ever. Filling out the additional 4 spots were Gersh, Paradigm, UTA and Verve. Jesse Maiman’s BEING CHRISTIAN is the only project in the Top 10 without an agency. On the management side of things no single company claimed more than one spot, as Bellevue, Circle of Confusion, Echo Lake, Epicenter, Good Fear, Hopscotch, Lee Stobby, Madhouse and Management 360 all filled 9 of the 10 spots with managers. The only project without a manager I, TONYA also happened to top this year’s list.
As for the writers, the Top 10 featured 11 writers (1 writing team), 9 of which are male, 2 of which are female, 3 of whom had previously appeared on The Hit List (Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell & Christopher Cosmos), 5 who previously appeared on the Young & Hungry List (Nick Yarborough, Joe Greenberg, Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell & Tom Dean), 3 who previously appeared on the Black List (Dan Fogelman, Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell), and 1 who previously appeared on the Blood List (Joe Greenberg).
Of those projects in the Top 10, 2 are set up with studios, with MAN ALIVE at Fox and American Rebel at Sony, 7 of them have producers attached in some capacity, and 3 have directors attached, with Noah Hawley directing MAN ALIVE, Dan Fogelman directing his own LIFE ITSELF and Baltasar Kormakur set to direct ADRIFT.
On the genre front, drama reigns supreme, with 9 of the 10 either leading as or sub-listed as a drama, followed by romance and biopics with 3 apiece, comedy, period and sci-fi with 2 apiece, and action and war each with 1 spot.
TOP 10 HIT LIST SPECS BY YEAR:
01 – I, TONYA – Steven Rogers (81 Votes)
02 – LETTERS FROM ROSEMARY – Nick Yarborough (78 Votes)
03 – MAN ALIVE – Joe Greenberg (75 Votes)
04 – LIFE ITSELF – Dan Fogelman (69 Votes)
05 – POST, THE – Liz Hannah (65 Votes)
06 – ADRIFT – Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell (61 Votes)
07 – BLOND AMBITION – Elyse Hollander (60 Votes)
08 – TIME TRAVELER’S LA RONDE, THE – Tom Dean (59 Votes)
09 – AMERICAN REBEL – Christopher Cosmos (57 Votes)
10 – BEING CHRISTIAN – Jesse Maiman (55 Votes)
01 – CRATER – John Griffin (79 Votes)
02 – BUBBLES – Isaac Adamson (78 Votes)
03 – ELI – David Chirchirillo (76 Votes)
04 – REAGAN – Mike Rosolio (73 Votes)
05 – LIBERTINE, THE – Ben Kopit (69 Votes)
06 – WATER MAN, THE – Emma Needell (65 Votes)
07 – LIFE INSIDE, THE – Takashi Doscher (62 Votes)
08 – PALE BLUE DOT – Brian C Brown & Elliott DiGuiseppi (59 Votes)
09 – GREAT FALLS – Andrew Friedhof (55 Votes)
10 (tie) – BOY – Mattson Tomlin (54 Votes)
10 (tie) – HAMMERSPACE – Mike Van Waes (54 Votes)
01 – CATHERINE THE GREAT – Kristina Lauren Anderson (87 Votes)
02 – MENA – Gary Spinelli (83 Votes)
03 – BABYSITTER, THE – Brian Duffield (78 Votes)
04 – ONE FELL SWOOP – Greg Scharpf (77 Votes)
05 – YELLOWSTONE FALLS – Dan Kunka (75 Votes)
06 – IN THE MORNING BLOOD – Elijah Bynum (71 Votes)
07 – SECRET INGREDIENTS OF ROCKET COLA – Michael Vukadinovich (70 Votes)
08 – GARDEN AT THE END OF THE WORLD – Gary Graham (67 Votes)
09 – MATRIARCH – Eric Koenig (66 Votes)
10 – TAKEAWAY, THE – Julia Cox (61 Votes)
01 – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS – Elijah Bynum (91 Votes)
02 – A BOY AND HIS TIGER – Dan Dollar (89 Votes)
03 – SECTION 6 – Aaron Berg (82 Votes)
04 – REMINISCENCE – Lisa Joy (79 Votes)
05 – PURE O – Kate Trefry (76 Votes)
06 – THE GOLDEN RECORD – Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell (72 Votes)
07 – TRANQUILITY BASE – Daniel Turkewitz (67 Votes)
08 – HOLLAND, MICHIGAN – Andrew Sodroski (65 Votes)
09 – INK AND BONE – Zak Olkewicz (62 Votes)
10 – THE SHARK IS NOT WORKING – Richard Cordiner (60 Votes)
01 – DRAFT DAY – Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman (118 Votes)
02 – WUNDERKIND – Patrick Alson (111 Votes)
03 – GLIMMER – Carter Blanchard (103 Votes)
04 (tie) – OUR NAME IS ADAM – T.S. Nowlin (99 Votes)
04 (tie) – WHITE HOUSE DOWN – James Vanderbilt (99 Votes)
05 – THE CELLAR – Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken (92 Votes)
06 – THE DISCIPLE PROGRAM – Tyler Marceca (91 Votes)
07 – MONSTER PROBLEMS – Brian Duffield (87 Votes)
08 – VIRAL – Dustin T. Benson (84 Votes)
09 – BLACK BOX – David Guggenheim (82 Votes)
10 – STORY OF YOUR LIFE – Eric Heisserer (79 Votes)
01 – THE IMITATION GAME – Graham Moore (142 Votes)
02 – HE’S FUCKIN’ PERFECT – Lauryn Kahn (119 Votes)
03 – WHEN THE STREETLIGHTS GO ON – Eddie O’Keefe & Chris Hutton (105 Votes)
04 – IN THE EVENT OF A MOON DISASTER – Mike Jones (98 Votes)
05 – FATHER DAUGHTER TIME – Matthew Aldrich
06 – MAGGIE – John Scott III (84 Votes)
07 – SELF/LESS – Alex Pastor & David Pastor (81 Votes)
08 – CRISTO – Ian Shorr (78 Votes)
09 (tie) – AGENT OX – Daniel Kunka (71 Votes)
09 (tie) – FLASHBACK – Will Honley (71 Votes)
10 – HIDDEN – Matthew Duffer & Ross Duffer (64 Votes)
01 – SAFE HOUSE – David Guggenheim (113 Votes)
02 – CHRONICLE– Max Landis (104 Votes)
03 – I-95 – Greg Russo (97 Votes)
04 – SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN – Evan Daugherty (91 Votes)
05 – FAMILY GETAWAY – Jeremiah Friedman, Nick Palmer (84 Votes)
06 – DARK MOON – Olatunde Osunsanmi (76 Votes)
07 – YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH – Brian Duffield (68 Votes)
08 – LAYOVER – Zach Dean (65 Votes)
09 – TRIPLE NINE – Matt Cook (64 Votes)
10 – HOOF HARRINGTON’S GREATEST HITS – Dutch Southern (59 Votes)
Of the 92 spec scripts represented on the 2016 Hit List, they were written by 102 writers, with 11 writing teams (12%), and 1 writer appearing more than once on the list (Max Landis). Of the 92 scripts, 70 of them (76%) come to us from the 77 writers (75%) appearing on the list for the first time, while 25 of the writers have appeared on the Hit List before (4 of them on the inaugural 2010 list). Of the 25 veterans, 18 have appeared once before, 4 had appeared twice before, 2 had appeared three times before, and 1 (Brian Duffield) is making his sixth appearance, reinforcing the lead he built last year over four-time Hit List veteran Jonathan Stokes.
Of the 102 writers, 41 (40%) had previously appeared on a Young & Hungry List, spanning all the way back to the inaugural list in 2011, to this years 2016 list, 19 (18%) had appeared on the Black List (also spanning all the way back to the inaugural list in 2005), 13 (12%) had appeared on the Blood List (also spanning all the way back to the inaugural list in 2009), and 7 (6%) had come from our very own Launch Pad Competition, once again spanning all the way back to the inaugural winner in 2013 – Kate Trefry. Strangely enough, this is the first annual end of year list to have ever featured a writer who had appeared on the very first iteration of all of the above lists.
Of this year’s 102 writers, 31 (30%) had previously appeared on the Young & Hungry List, 12 (12%) had previously landed in the finalists, or won the Nicholl Fellowship, 10 (10%) have appeared on the Black List (before the 2016 announcement – following the Black List duplicating a record 43 Hit List projects and 46 writers for their 2016 list, that number has skyrocketed to 46 (45%), 8 (8%) were Launch Pad Alums and 7 (7%) previously appeared on the Blood List.
The seven-year story:
In seven years of Hit Lists, we have seen 638 different writers make 753 appearances across the 617 specs that have appeared on the lists since 2010. 81 writers have appeared more than once, with 1 having appeared six times (Brian Duffield), 1 writer has appeared five times (Max Landis) 8 writers having appeared four times (Chris Borelli, Christopher Baldi, Daniel Kunka, F. Scott Frazier, Ian Shorr, Jonathan Stokes, Michael Sherman and Steve Desmond), 11 writers have appeared three times (Anthony Jaswinski, Brad Ingelsby, Chris Sparling, David Guggenheim, Elijah Bynum, Gary Spinelli, Jeffrey Gelber, Marc Maurino, Peter Hoare, Ryan Belenzon and Zak Olkewicz), 60 writers have appeared two times, and 557 writers have made one appearance. Of those writers, we have seen 132 writing teams, 109 female writers and 529 male writers
Of these 638 writers, 274 (43%) have also appeared on our very Young & Hungry List, 279 (44%) also went on to also appear on the Black List (before the 2016 announcement – following the Black List duplicating a record 43 Hit List projects and 46 writers for their 2016 list, that number has skyrocketed to 315 (49%), 26 were Launch Pad Alums (4%) since the program began in 2013, and 61 (9%) have also appeared on the Blood List.
Of all 628 Hit List writers, only 27 (4%) have appeared on all four major annual lists – Hit List, Young & Hungry List, Black List and Blood List since 2010.
12 different agencies made the Hit List in 2016, with 8 having appeared on every Hit List before (WME, CAA, UTA, Verve, Gersh, Paradigm, APA, ICM), 1 having appeared on all but 2012’s list (Original Artists), 1 having appeared every year since it’s inception (ESA), and 2 appearing for the very first time (Claire Best & Associates and Curtis Brown). Of this year’s 92 projects, a record 81 had agents (88%).
WME reigned supreme on this year’s list, not only representing 18 of the 92 projects making the list, but becoming the first ever agency to represent 5 of the Top 10! To make their overall represented number this year even more impressive, factor in the stat, that of the 92 projects only 81 of them had agents, and you now have a single company representing 18 of the 81 with agents (22%).
While WME had only previously topped the list once in 2012, when it represented 19 projects on the list, it is 1 of only 2 agencies that has landed in the top two spots for five or more years alongside CAA. To top off just how impressive that is, while other agencies have bested WME in 5 of the 7 years the Hit List has been around, WME still leads all agencies with 95 projects represented.
Rounding out the Top 5 Agencies, CAA represented 15 of the 81 (18%) agented projects on this year’s list, while last year’s Top Agency UTA tied their all time high with 15 of the 81 (18%) agented projects also represented, while Verve jumped one spot from last year by representing 10 of the 81 (12%), Gersh and Paradigm each represented 7 of the 81 (9%) and rounding out the Top 5, APA represented 5 of the 81 (6%) agented projects overall. Beyond the Top 5 numbers, ESA (2), Claire Best & Associates (1), Curtis Brown (1), ICM (1) and Original Artists (1) rounded out the agencies, with ICM significantly stumbling to an all-time low in 2016, only representing 1 of the 81 agented projects on this year’s list. Last year ICM had tied an all time high, with 7 projects, but this year they were clinging to life, as they only saw 1 spec make the list.
The seven-year story:
As we stated earlier in the post, while WME has only topped the list once prior to 2016, they have still managed to represent the most projects landing on the list with 95 of the 617 projects being represented by the agency. Considering that of the 617 projects that have landed on the Hit List in the past seven years, only 517 of them have had an agent, that means WME has in fact represented 16% of every project on the Hit List, or 18% of all agented projects. WME represented the second most projects in 2010 (11), 2011 (20) and 2015 (12), the most in 2012 (19), the fifth most in 2013 (8), the fourth most in 2014 (8). Of all of those years WME agents individually have topped, or tied for top individual agent three times, with former WME agent Mike Esola topping the list for the company in 2011, Philip D’Amecourt tying for the top spot in 2012, and Tanya Cohen tying for the top spot in 2016.
Following WME this year, and in fact overall in total number of Hit List projects is CAA, an agency who has topped the Hit List more than any other, with first place finishes in 2011, 2013 and 2014. CAA comes in just 1 project behind WME in overall projects (in fact tying the next top agency) with 94 of the 517 (15%) agented projects represented. With their first place finishes CAA represented the most projects in 2011 (22), 2013 (13) and 2014 (17), the second most in 2010 (11) and 2016 (15), and the third most in 2015 (10). Surprisingly, no individual agent from CAA has ever topped the agent list, though in 2013 current CAA agent Rob Herting tied for the top spot as a representative for Verve.
Last year’s top agency UTA not only ties CAA for the second most projects on the list in 2016 with 15, but they also tie CAA for the second most projects overall, also with 94 of the 517 (15%) agented projects represented. UTA topped the inaugural list in 2010 (16) and returned to the top in 2015 (15), and was in the number two spot in 2012 (15), and the number three spot for 2011 (13), 2013 (11) and 2014 (9). UTA not only ties WME for the most individual agents who topped the annual lists with three, but they are the only agency to do so with the exact same agent – Charles Ferraro.
With 10 projects on this year’s list, Verve doesn’t quite tie their 2014 high of 13, but they firmly stay planted in the Top 5, and with their 53 of the 517 (10%) agented projects overall, they also find themselves in third place overall. Verve has never topped the list with number of projects represented, but they’ve found themselves in the Top 5 2012, and overall they’ve had solid numbers each year from 2010 (3), 2011 (3), 2012 (5), 2013 (10), 2014 (13) and 2015 (9). And, believe it or not, Verve actually ties WME and UTA with the number of top individual agents overall since 2010 with 3. The biggest difference however is that of those agents, two of them (Rob Herting & Tanya cohen) are no longer with the agency.
Gersh, who ties Paradigm for fifth place on this year’s list (and ties their previous highest record) with 7 projects represented, has appeared in the Top 5 of agencies represented in six of the seven years overall, and has accumulated 38 of the 517 (7%) agented projects overall. While never having a top individual agent, they’ve had solid numbers annually with 2010 (4), 2011 (4), 2012 (7), 2013 (5), 2014 (5) and 2015 (5).
Paradigm, who ties Gersh this year with 7 projects on the list, has found themselves in the Top 5 agencies every year but one (2013), rounding up their total represented projects to 47 of the 517 (9%). They’ve had two third place finishes in 2012 (7) and 2014 (9), two fourth place finishes in 2011 (6) and 2015 (9), and a sixth place finish in 2013 (5). Paradigm has however had one top individual agent, when David Boxerbaum tied for that spot in 2015.
APA had their second lowest year on the Hit List in 2016 with their 5 projects represented bringing them at fifth overall . However, in the seven years of Hit Lists overall their numbers bring them into fourth place overall with 49 of the 517 (9%) projects represented. They’ve never topped a list, but have flashed power numbers and consistency since the beginning with 2010 (8), 2011 (3), 2012 (6), 2013 (12), 2014 (9) and 2015 (6). While APA ties UTA, WME and Verve with top individual agents wining years with 3, they and UTA are the only two who still employ those agents!
TOP 5 AGENCIES BY YEAR:
2016 (12 different agencies listed)
18 – WME
15 – CAA (tied – 2nd)
15 – UTA (tied – 2nd)
10 – Verve
07 – Gersh (tied – 4th)
07 – Paradigm (tied – 4th)
05 – APA
2015 (11 different agencies listed)
15 – UTA
12 – WME
10 – CAA
09 – Paradigm (tied – 4th)
09 – Verve (tied – 4th)
07 – ICM
2014 (11 different agencies listed)
17 – CAA
13 – Verve
09 – APA (tied – 3rd)
09 – Paradigm (tied – 3rd)
09 – UTA (tied – 3rd)
08 – WME
05 – Gersh
2013 (11 different agencies listed)
13 – CAA
12 – APA
11 – UTA
10 – Verve
08 – WME
2012 (10 different agencies listed)
19 – WME
15 – UTA
07 – Gersh (tied – 3rd)
07 – ICM (tied – 3rd)
07 – Paradigm (tied – 3rd)
06 – APA (tied – 4th)
06 – CAA (tied – 4th)
05 – Verve
2011 (11 different agencies listed)
22 – CAA
20 – WME
13 – UTA
06 – ICM (tied – 4th)
06 – Paradigm (tied – 4th)
05 – Gersh
2010 (13 different agencies listed)
16 – UTA
11 – CAA (tied – 2nd)
11 – WME (tied – 2nd)
08 – APA
06 – ICM
04 – Gersh
04 – Paradigm
made the list this year, tied for the record set lastyeaThe Top Agents of the 2016 Hit List are both Top Individual Agent veterans with three-time veteran Charles Ferraro of UTA and two –time veteran Tanya Cohen tying atop the list with 7 projects apiece.
Ferraro, who has not only represented the most projects overall for any individual agent with 37 of the 517 (7%) agented projects overall, or 37 of the 94 UTA has represented (40%), but he has never once not been in the Top 3 individual agents list, landing in first place in 2012 (6), 2013 (6) and 2016 (7), second place in 2010 (3) and 2015 (5), and third place in 2011 (5) and 2014 (5). Even more impressive, he’s one of the few agents who has done all of this from the same agency!
Cohen, who previously topped the list in 2014 has represented 21 of the 517 (4%) agented projects overall, being the person behind 11 of Verve’s 53 overall (21%) from 2013 – 2014, and 10 of WME’s 94 overall (11%) from 2015-2016. She is the only agent to have topped the individual agents list twice and done so for two different companies.
Rounding out this year’s list with 5 of the 81 (6%) projects represented each are UTA’s Amanda Hymson, who is making her third appearance on the list (2014, 2015, 2016) and David Boxerbaum of Paradigm who has not only appeared on every list prior, but who also topped the list of individual agents in 2015. Hymson made her first appearance on the list in 2014, with 1 individual project of UTA’s overall (1%), then doubled that number to 2 for 2015 (2%), and this year doubled it again, with a cherry on top to hit 5 individual projects of UTA’s 94 (5%). Boxerbaum, who has represented 28 projects overall since the list began, was behind 4 of APA’s overall 49 (8%) from 2010-2011, and 24 of Paradigm’s overall 47 (51%) from 2012-2016.
Rounding out the number five spots for individual agents in 2016 with 4 projects a piece (5%) are Adam Perry of APA, Adam Weinstein of Verve, Adrian Garcia of Paradigm, Jon Cassir of CAA, Melissa Darman of Verve, Parker Davis of Verve, Peter Dodd of UTA, Simon Faber of WME and Trevor Astbury of CAA. Only Darman is making her first appearance this year, as Perry makes his fourth appearance, Weinstein his sixth, Garcia his third, Cassir his fifth, Davis his third, Dodd his third, Faber his sixth and Astbury his fifth.
The seven-year story:
In seven years, there have been 207 different individual agents who have represented the 517 agented projects since 2010. Of those, 158 agents have appeared more than once, with 9 different agents appearing at the top of the annual individual agents list 13 times, with David Saunders topping the list for APA in 2010 with 4, Mike Esola topping the list for WME in 2011 with 7, Charles Ferraro of UTA and Phillip D’Amecourt of WME topping the list in 2012 with 6 a piece, Adam Levine of Verve, Charles Ferraro of UTA, Chris Ridenhour of APA and Rob Herting of Verve topping the list in 2013 with 6, Tanya Cohen topping the list for Verve in 2014, Adam Perry of APA and David Boxerbaum of Paradigm topping the list in 2015 with 6, and of course Charles Ferraro of UTA and Tanya Cohen now of WME both returning to the top of the list in 2016 with 7 a piece.
The Top 10 Agents overall to date are Charles Ferraro (UTA) with 37 projects, David Boxerbaum (APA, Paradigm) with 28 projects, Tanya Cohen (Verve, WME) with 21 projects, Adam Perry (APA) and Mike Esola (WME, UTA) with 20 projects a piece, Adam Levine (Verve), Adam Weinstein (ICM, Verve), Daniel Cohan (WME) with 17 projects a piece, Bill Weinstein (Verve) and Robe Herting (Verve, CAA) with 16 a piece.
100 of the 617 (16%) Hit List projects since 2010 have not had agents at the time of making the list.
TOP INDIVIDUAL AGENTS BY YEAR:
2016 (121 different agents listed)
07 – Charles Ferraro – UTA
07 – Tanya Cohen – WME
2015 (121 different agents listed)
06 – Adam Perry – APA
06 – David Boxerbaum – Paradigm
2014 (86 different agents listed)
07 – Tanya Cohen – Verve (now at WME)
2012 (93 different agents listed)
06 – Charles Ferraro – UTA
06 – Phillip D’Amecourt – WME
2011 (91 different agents listed)
07 – Mike Esola – WME (now at UTA)
2010 (74 different agents listed)
04 – David Saunders – APA
34 different management companies made the Hit List in 2016, with all but 4 having appeared on a Hit List in some form previously, and a very familiar company once again sitting atop the pile, as Circle of Confusion topped all management companies for the third time with 9 of this year’s 92 (9%) projects represented there, or 9 of the 86 (10%) managed projects represented overall. Circle had previously topped the list in 2010 (9), 2011 (7) and 2014 (9), made the Top 3 in 2015 (5), and rounded out the Top 5 in 2012 (4) and 2013 (2). The only company to ever best Circle of Confusion in an individual year was number two on this year’s list, as Madhouse Entertainment, who topped the list in 2012 (11), represented 8 of the 86 (9%) managed projects this year and were followed closely by fast-rising Bellevue, Echo Lake and Kaplan/Perrone each with 7 of the 86 (8%) managed projects this year. Rounding out the Top 5 were Gotham Group and Grandview each with 4 projects (5%), and 3 Arts Entertainment, newly formed Good Fear Films, Lee Stobby Entertainment, Principato-Young Entertainment and Writ Large each with 3 of the 86 (4%) managed projects overall.
The seven-year story:
Since 2010, 554 of the 617 (90%) projects making the Hit List have had a management company at the time of the list release.
As mentioned above, Circle of Confusion has topped the list more than any other management company since the inaugural list in 2010 with four top spots. Strangely enough however, Circle has only seen one of their managers top the list once, all the way back in 2010 when Britton Rizzio (now at Writ Large) did so in a three-way tie with Adam Kolbrenner and Chris Fenton. This of course speaks more to the power of the company as a whole, a place which has represented 45 of the 554 (8%) managed projects that have made the list since 2010, which puts them third overall in terms of management companies represented, and one which has seen more individual managers than any other company represented on the list, with 49 appearances from their management team in seven years.
Madhouse Entertainment, led by four-time individual management leader Adam Kolbrenner may have only topped the list twice – 2012 (11) and 2014 (9), but for every other of their seven years making the list, they landed in second place – 2010 (4), 2011 (5), 2013 (8), 2014 (9) and 2015 (6) and hold the title of the most projects represented by a management company, with 51 of the 554 (9%) managed projects overall. And to top it all off, as mentioned above Kolbrenner has led the pack for individual managers 4 of the 7 years, and represented 40 of the 51 (78%) Madhouse projects.
Bellevue, a company which appeared for the first time in 2015 with the second most projects represented by a management company that year with 6 returns this year with 7 projects, for an overall two year count of 13 projects represented. On its own this number may not seem to impressive, but with 13 overall projects, Bellevue a a management company actually represents the eleventh most Hit List projects of all time, and that stems from a total of 109 different management companies. Want another stat that’s quite impressive? In the past two years, only two management companies (Circle and Kaplan/Perrone) have represented more projects than Bellevue, each of which have more than quadruple the managers.
Echo Lake Entertainment first appeared on the list in 2013 with 3 projects, and followed that up with appearances in 2014 (2) and 2015 (3) before more than doubling their Hit List tally and almost completely doubling their overall tally by representing 7 of the 86 managed projects this year for a grand total of 15 overall, good enough for ninth overall of all management companies.
Kaplan Perrone Entertainment slipped a few spots from when they topped the list for the third time in 2015 with 9 projects – previously at top in 2011 (7) and 2013 (9), but for the company that finished second in 2012 (8) third in 2014 (6) and fourth in 2010 (2) they represent the second most projects, only behind Madhouse’s 51, overall since the Hit List began with 48 of the 554 (9%) managed projects under their wing. And, while they’ve only ever topped the list twice in a tie in 2015, they’ve seen their managers appear 38 times overall.
Wrapping out the seven year overall numbers, Energy Entertainment, who saw their numbers at an all time low in 2016 with 1 appearance has made every list prior, even topping the list in 2013 when Brooklyn Weaver represented 8 projects, has represented 27 of the 554 (554) managed projects overall, Industry Entertainment, who failed to make the list for the first time in 2016 represented 23 of the 554 (4%) manager projects overall, and DMG, who tied last year’s number with 1 project in 2016 represents 21 of the 554 (3%) managed projects overall.
THE TOP MANAGEMENT COMPANIES BY YEAR:
2016 (34 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion
08 – Madhouse Entertainment
2015 (43 different management companies listed)
09 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
06 – Bellevue (tied – 2nd)
06 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 2nd)
2014 (36 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 1st)
09 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 1st)
08 – Industry Entertainment
2013 (28 different management companies listed)
09 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
08 – Energy Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
08 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
2012 (32 different management companies listed)
11 – Madhouse Entertainment
08 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
2011 (32 different management companies listed)
07 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 1st)
07 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment (tied – 1st)
07 – New Wave Entertainment (tied – 1st)
05 –H2F (now DMG) (tied – 2nd)
05 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
2010 (46 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion
04 – Anonymous Content (tied – 2nd)
04 – H2F (now DMG) (tied – 2nd)
04 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
Only 2015’s number of 84 topped 2016’s 79 individual managers representing writers on this year’s Hit List.
Guess who’s back! Topping the list for a fourth time (and the most of any individual agent or manager) was none other than Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner, who following top spot honors in 2010 (4), 2012 (9) and 2014 (7) is back on the throne with 8 of the 86 (9%) managed projects represented. Following him on the list with 5 projects this year was one of the managers tied for top spot in 2015 – Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue and Circle of Confusion’s Zach Cox, who has landed on the list six of the past seven years, but with 5 projects this year, has more than doubled any previous years. With 4 projects apiece Jake Wagner of Good Fear quadruples his previous best, and lands on the list a fifth time (for his third company) and Josh Goldenberg, who tied Portnoy at the top of the list in 2015, kicks his overall represented number past 20 in his six years on the list. Rounding out the fifth spot overall with 3 projects apiece were Adam Riback making his first appearance as a representative of of Echo Lake and third overall, 2010 individual manager list topper and six time Hit List rep alum Britton Rizzio of Writ Large, Hit List first-timer Daniela Garcia-Brcek of Circle of Confusion and last year’s top Hit List script rep Lee Stobby of Lee Stobby Entertainment.
The seven-year story:
In seven years there have been 237 different managers from 109 different management companies appear on the list to represent 554 of the 617 (90%) overall projects. Of those, 137 managers have appeared more than once, with 8 different managers appearing at the top of the annual individual managers list 11 times, with Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment, Britton Rizzio of Circle of Confusion (now at Writ Larte) and Chris Fenton of H2F (now at DMW) topping the list in 2010 with 4 projects apiece, Mike Goldberg of New Wave Entertainment (now an agent at APA) with 7 projects atop the list in 2011, Kolbrenner once again atop the list in 2012 with 9 projects, Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment atop the list in 2013 with 8 projects, Kolbrenner back on top with 7 projects in 2014, Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue, Josh Goldenberg of Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Michael Wilson of Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment atop the list in 2015 with 4 apiece, and finally, Kolbrenner back on the throne with 8 projects in 2016.
The Top 10 Managers Overall to date are Adam Kolbrenner (Madhouse) with 40 projects, Brooklyn Weaver (Energy) with 26 projects, Aaron Kaplan (Kaplan/Perrone) with 25 projects, Chris Fenton (H2F, DMG) and Josh Goldenberg (Kaplan/Perrone) with 21 projects a piece, Josh Adler (Roar, New Wave, Circle) with 18 projects, Sean Perrone (Kaplan/Perrone) with 17 projects, Zach Cox (Circle) with 13 projects, and Britton Rizzio (Circle, Writ Large) and Mike Goldberg (Roar, New Wave) each with 12 a piece.
Of the 617 total specs to land on the Hit List since 2010, only 63 (10%) have not had management at the time of announcement.
TOP INDIVIDUAL MANAGERS BY YEAR:
2016 (79 different managers listed)
08 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2015 (84 different managers listed)
04 – Jeff Portnoy – Bellevue
04 – Josh Goldenberg – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
04 – Michael Wilson – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
2014 (73 different managers listed)
07 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2013 (62 different managers listed)
08 – Brooklyn Weaver – Energy Entertainment
2012 (74 different managers listed)
09 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2011 (64 different managers listed)
07 – Mike Goldberg – New Wave Entertainment (now at APA)
2010 (74 different managers listed)
04 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
04 – Britton Rizzio – Circle of Confusion (now at Writ Large)
04 – Chris Fenton – H2F (now at DMG)
Dramas once again topped the list this year with 45 appearances, with thrillers coming in with 32 appearances, comedies with 29, actioners with 25, sci-fi with 20, period piece tales 16, biopics with 11, romances with 10, horror and fantasy each with 4 nods, adventure and crime each with 3, and 2 a piece for coming-of-age, supernatural, war stories and westerns.
The seven-year story:
So, what can we learn from these numbers, looking over a seven year breakdown? Well, first and foremost, Dramas have shows the steepest rise from 2010, jumping from 8 appearances then to their second highest number in 2016 with 45 (they showed up 49 times last year), so whether it’s a search for something more compelling, remake/reboot/spin-off fatigue, or a quest to look within, Hollywood has without a doubt solidified their love of some good old fashioned drama.
On the other side of that coin, we’ve seen comedies start high with 38 appearances in 2010, drop to a record low of 13 in 2013, and on their way to a surge back find a happy average of sorts, as they’ve appeared 28 times in 2014 and 29 times both last year and this year. With any sort of award, comedy always tends to be subjective both in terms of humor, as well as voting for the genre over powerful dramas. However, it seems a strong mix between comedy and drama has been made these past two years, as both have been identical year to year, or within 4 appearances of one another.
Meanwhile thrillers, which have appeared on the list more than any other genre since 2010 (247 total) and actioners (176 total) both eased back into their averages this year, as thrillers, following a spike to 51 projects in 2013 levels back to mid-30s, and action films following a one-year slump down to 14 projects in 2015 returns to their mid-20s average.
With adventure films hitting an all time low this year and sci-fi, period pieces, romances and biopics all hitting their all-time highs, we’re left with a few mixed signals, as it seems our need to escape is still ever present, but we either want intelligent driven releases with our sci-fi, a reminder or our pasts with period pieces and biopics, or quite simply to fall in love.
TOP GENRE EACH YEAR:
(2016 includes more genres, as this was the first year we had 10+ scripts featured with more than 5 genres)