Over a Dozen Members from the ICM Partners’ Family Honored on the Variety500 List
The media publication’s annual list indexes the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry. Selected by the Variety editorial board, the list of industry titans reflects accomplishments that occurred over the past 12 months.
ICM Partners is proud to celebrate the members of our family who were named in this year’s list, including:
Paris Barclay: Barclay’s main gig in 2020 was as executive producer and principal director for season four of Shonda Rhimes’ ABC series “Station 19,” which had to shut down for several months due to COVID-19. But his work behind the scenes on behalf of the Directors Guild of America was perhaps more important. The first African American and the first openly gay president of the DGA (2013-17), he spent countless hours working with members across all categories to make the guild more representative, inclusive and responsive to the challenges of systemic racism. He and Steven Soderbergh co-chaired a committee that crafted “The Safe Way Forward,” a joint report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters unions providing detailed protocols for resuming production during the pandemic.
Olivia Colman: It’s been quite a year for Colman: She’s an iconic queen in Netflix’s “The Crown,” a God-fearing Appalachian in the thriller “Them That Follow” and a narcissistic artist in awards darling “Fleabag.” With verve and honesty, she is not afraid to be memorably unlikable. Since her 20s, Colman has built a lengthy list of credits — “The Night Manager,” “Broadchurch,” “Hot Fuzz” — leading to a turn as querulous Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” for which she won the 2019 best actress Oscar. Britain’s Radio Times named her most powerful person in British TV. And as the world salivates for season three of “The Crown” and she steps in as Queen Elizabeth II, they know full well Claire Foy’s royal shoes will fit Colman splendidly.
Vince Gilligan: Gilligan is reaching the end of a life-changing and arguably industry-shifting odyssey that began with awards magnet “Breaking Bad” in 2008 and will conclude in 2021 with the sixth and final season of the stellar prequel series “Better Call Saul.” Along the way, he created an Emmy-winning cartoon spinoff (“Better Call Saul: Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training”) and wrote and directed the 2019 “Breaking Bad” Netflix TV movie sequel “El Camino.” Gilligan began his career scripting the features “Wilder Napalm” (1993) and “Home Fries” (1998), the latter penned when he was a New York University film student, then spent six years as a writer-producer on “The X-Files.” In 2015, CBS picked up his cop series “Battle Creek,” with David Shore as showrunner, from a pilot Gilligan had written years earlier.
Bob Iger: When Iger announced in February 2020 that he was stepping down after 15 years as Disney CEO and handing the reins to then parks, experiences and products chairman Bob Chapek, the company’s future seemed secure and so did his legacy of success, capped by the acquisition of 21st Century Fox and launch of Disney Plus in 2019. Then COVID-19 hit the U.S. in March, closing Disney theme parks (which generated 45% of Disney’s 2019 operating income), shuttering film and TV productions and halting theatrical releases, leading the company to furlough more than 100,000 workers in April. Iger subsequently announced he was forgoing his salary, and reportedly ditched his plan to take a less active role as executive chairman through the end of his contract in 2021. He’s remaining hands-on just when his company needs him most, and will see things off on a streaming-centric note as Disney Plus prepares to stream an influx of programming unveiled in December spanning the Marvel, “Star Wars,” Pixar and Disney Animation brands.
Samuel L. Jackson: If it’s super, Jackson is probably behind it. Dubbed the most bankable Hollywood star by Box Office Mojo in 2018, Jackson has reportedly earned studios $5.76 billion domestically, higher than Harrison Ford or Tom Hanks. The 70-year-old has appeared in over 120 movies — many of them franchises and many of those Marvel-based, where he’s made his Avengers boss Nick Fury indispensible. Last year, he was in “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2” and “Life Itself,” while his 2019 brought no fewer than six films, including “Avengers: Endgame,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and a reboot of “Shaft.” Jackson returns to producing with Fremantle’s miniseries documentary “Enslaved,” commemorating 400 years since the first African was transported to the New World as a slave. He’ll also host the project.
Regina King: The “If Beale Street Could Talk” Oscar winner won her fourth Emmy for her starring role as Angela Abar/Sister Night in HBO’s “Watchmen,” 2019’s most nominated series with a stunning 26 nods (and a record-breaking 11 wins). Already an acclaimed TV director, King is making her feature directorial debut shortly with festival favorite “One Night in Miami,” the fictional account of a meeting between Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, Malcolm X and football star Jim Brown that drops on Amazon Prime in January. After debuting at the Venice Film Festival and TIFF, the film put King in the conversation for a possible best director Oscar nod, which would make her the first Black woman director nominated by the Academy. King has also signed on, opposite Idris Elba, to Netflix’s Jay-Z produced all-Black western feature “The Harder They Fall.”
Spike Lee: Over the last three and a half decades, Lee has built an impressive body of work that’s been both consistently provocative and groundbreaking — from 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It” to 2018’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which earned him an Oscar for best adapted screenplay — and remarkably diverse. In addition to a wealth of films of various genres, he’s directed Nike commercials, music videos, stage shows, a video game (“NBC 2K16”) and docs about everything from Michael Jackson to Hurricane Katrina, as well as acted in more than a dozen projects. That trend continues with his two latest projects: Netflix feature “Da 5 Bloods,” about five African-American vets who return to Vietnam, and a filmed version of David Byrne’s Broadway concert show “American Utopia” for HBO Max.
Shonda Rhimes: The five-year megadeal Rhimes signed with Netflix in 2017, worth a reported $100 million, is finally bearing fruit with the upcoming series “Bridgerton,” based on Julia Quinn’s books about a high-society family in Regency-era England and set for a Christmas 2020 premiere, plus “Inventing Anna,” the tale of a real-life Russian con artist (played by Julia Garner) who scammed New York elites, which resumed its shoot in October. Meanwhile, over at ABC, the series that put Rhimes on the map, hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” is still going strong in its 17th season, as is spinoff “Station 19,” currently in its fourth season. Her Netflix series development slate also includes “Pico & Sepulveda,” set in 1840s Los Angeles, and an adaptation of the Kate Andersen Brower novel “The Residence,” about White House support staffers.
David Shore: Shore shocked fans of ABC’s “The Good Doctor” by killing off a major character in a fictional natural disaster in its third-season finale in March, then returned in the fall with a two-part season premiere set against the all-too-real backdrop of the pandemic. A onetime attorney, the Canadian native broke into television as a writer on the 1993 reboot of “The Untouchables” and went on to serve as writer-producer on such shows as “Law & Order” and “Family Law” before creating the long-running hit “House.” More recently, he created (with Vince Gilligan) the shows “Battle Creek,” which had a 13-episode run on CBS in 2015, and “Sneaky Pete” (with Bryan Cranston), which wrapped its third and final season on Prime Video in 2019.
As well as our own:
Lorrie Bartlett: Bartlett was appointed to ICM Partners’ board of directors in 2019, becoming the fourth woman on the agency’s board and, according to ICM, the first Black board member of a major Hollywood agency. She got there making things happen for her clients, as in Oscar-winning actress Regina King’s pact for her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” and Michael Keaton’s deal to star in and executive produce the Hulu series “Dopesick.” She also leads the Diversify/ICM initiative, responsible for recruiting staff from all walks to fill 50% of the agency’s open positions, as well as its mandatory anti-racism/anti-hate/unconscious bias course. Other clients include Ruth Negga, Laverne Cox, Josh Duhamel, Scott Foley, Lucy Hale, Laura Harrier, Felicity Huffman, Lucy Liu, Kelly Macdonald and Busy Philipps.
Ted Chervin: As the right-hand man to ICM Partners CEO Chris Silbermann, Chervin helped secure an investment from Crestview Partners in December 2019 that enabled them to acquire a pair of London-based agencies, music-focused Primary Talent International and sports shop Stellar Group. The company also took a significant minority stake in Stockholm-based literary agency Albatros and made some new agent hires. Chervin, who joined ICM in 2006 when it acquired the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann Agency, is credited with building up its broadcast division, which handles such TV news stars as Savannah Guthrie, Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour, and recently inked a deal for New Orleans Saints All-Pro safety Malcolm Jenkins to be a commentator on social and racial issues for CNN.
Chris Silbermann: Silbermann came into 2020 just having sold a minority stake in ICM to Crestview Partners to fund strategic acquisitions, which proved to be fortuitous when the pandemic hit, giving the agency extra economic firepower to weather the shutdown. It acquired a pair of London-based agencies, music-focused Primary Talent (adding 900 artists) and sports-centric Stellar Group (adding 800 athletes), while taking a minority stake in Swedish lit agency Albatros. ICM was also able to recruit veteran reality and talent agents from CAA, WME and APA. Nonetheless, it was forced to cut or furlough as many as 15 employees in September. Under Silbermann’s leadership, the agency responded to the death of George Floyd with peaceful rallies and marches in support of Black Lives Matter and the Black LGBTQ+ community.