Kate Juergens

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SVP of original series, programming and development, ABC Family

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Since leaving The WB in October 2004, Juergens, whether shepherding scripted or reality series, has been pushing the right buttons for ABC Family. Armed with $200 million for original productions over a three-year period, Juergens has hit it big with Wildfire, whose second season is off to a good start, and Beautiful People. For an encore, Juergens has also ordered Kyle XY and Three Moons Over Milford to debut this summer.

HIGH ’05s: “I’m really proud we launched two original dramas in 2005 and that both are returning in 2006.”

PICKS IN ’06: “I want to take the level of sophistication of the channel up another notch, make some movies that will surprise and entertain people, and continue bringing A level writers, directors and producers like Mikael Salomon, Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber to ABC Family.”

EXECUTIVE INFLUENCES: “My mentors have been Kevin Reilly [president, NBC Entertainment], David Nevins [president, Imagine Television] and Jamie Kellner [The WB and Turner executive]. Jamie once told me: 'You’re going to make mistakes. You have to make mistakes, it’s the only way you’re going to learn.’ It was a very freeing piece of advice.”

MY TIME: “I come from a large family, I’m the oldest of seven children I take an annual vacation with a group of friends called 'Under Appreciated American City.’ We’ve traveled to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Fresno and sought out all the local sites and the natives’ favorite haunts — absolutely no chain hotels or restaurants.”