Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have been set to produce their third consecutive Oscar show, which will be held Feb. 22. The producers will next choose the host, but no word yet on whether Ellen DeGeneres will repeat, or if the duo will pick someone new.
The move was not a surprise, given the healthy ratings for the duo’s last two shows. The March 2 Oscars were TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership in 14 years, according to the Academy. The show drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers, delivering a 13.7 rating among adults 18–49 (Live+7), and reached 74.6 million viewers watching 6+ minutes, the best since 2004.
There were more than 1 billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions on Facebook. DeGeneres’ selfie (including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper and other attendees) became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views. Aside from DeGeneres, interest in the show was no doubt boosted by musical performances by Pharrell Williams and U2, and a salute by Pink to “The Wizard of Oz.” The show marked a ratings jump for the second consecutive year, following healthy ratings for the 2014 telecast, also produced by Zadan and Meron and hosted by Seth MacFarlane, who has indicated he doesn’t want to host again.
In making Monday morning’s announcement, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said: “This year’s show reached viewers of all ages and set social media records, proving that Craig and Neil are masters at tapping into the zeitgeist and capturing the hearts of movie fans around the world.” The 87th Oscar show will air live on ABC TV and in 225 countries.
Zadan and Meron said: “We are delighted to work with Cheryl, Dawn and the Academy to produce the Oscars for a third time. We’re proud of the show’s success over the last two years and are eager to embark on another entertaining show to honor this year’s motion pictures.”
Upcoming projects for the pair include executive producing the television musical “Peter Pan Live!” as a follow-up to their successful “The Sound of Music Live.” Their MTV comedy series, “Happyland,” premieres this summer. For the bigscreen, Zadan and Meron are producing “Pippin” for the Weinstein Co., a musical based on the Beach Boys song catalog for Fox 2000 Pictures, and “Monster High” based on the Mattel franchise for Universal Pictures.