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5. Ryan Murphy

Creator Producer, Glee

Ryan Murphy's parents knew early that their kid was atypical: In kindergarten, he asked for a Vogue subscription. His idiosyncratic vision has fueled his success in Hollywood, from Nip/Tuck to the forthcoming Julia Roberts movie Eat, Pray, Love. The Peabody-winning Fox series Glee, his satire about a high-school show choir, has become a ratings rock star. It's the No. 1 show among female teens and the top new show among women 18 to 49, and more of its viewership is made up of 18- to 49-year-olds in households making $100,000-plus than any other broadcast-network show. Glee has also spawned more than 50 iTunes singles—Murphy, 43, picks all the songs himself—as well as three soundtracks and a sold-out concert tour. All this by reminding millions of Americans how high school mostly sucked. In episode 11, Quinn, the head cheerleader turned expecting mom, says, "What I need right now, even more than looser pants, is acceptance." Don't we all.

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