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...
While Storyline dips into TV series on occasion (Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” NBC’s “Smash”), Meron’s company with Craig Zadan has a long history of making TV movies, including the controversial “The Reagans” miniseries that was made for CBS but ended up airing on Showtime in 2004. In 2012, Storyline remade “Steel Magnolias” for Lifetime with a predominantly African-American cast, drawing more than 6.5 million viewers to the remake of the 1989 film classic.
Meron and Zadan have also produced for Broadway, including “Promises, Promises” (2010) and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (2011). Although they are currently best known for their live TV musicals for NBC (“The Sound of Music,” “Hairspray Live”), Meron and Zadan previously made recorded musicals for television, including “Gypsy” (1993), “Cinderella” (1997), “Annie” (1999) and “The Music Man” (2003).
For the big screen, the pair had great success at the box office with the feature films “Chicago” (2002) and “Hairspray” (2007) even in an era when movie musicals are rare and even more rarely successful. “Chicago” won six Oscars, including best picture.
“The great musicals were created for the stage, not for film,” Meron told Variety in 2007. “It is the rare ones that you can envision and reinvent as a film musical.”
Along with Zadan, Meron produced the Oscars awards show from 2013-15. Up next for the pair is “Bye Bye Birdie,” slated for 2018 with Jennifer Lopez.