15. MARC CHERRY; CARLTON CUSE AND DAMON LINDELOF
AGES 45; 49; 35
TITLES Exec producer, Desperate Housewives; exec producers, Lost
SMART BECAUSE They manage TV phenoms better than anyone, a coveted skill in an era of audience erosion and fickle fandom. Cherry kept the creative bacon sizzling on Wisteria Lane with a five-year leap in time that gave audiences a new reason to tune in to the fifth season. Meanwhile, Team Darlton — who chose to end Lost in 2010 — restored the show's cool with a season that earned the series its first best-drama Emmy nom since season 1.