|Craig Zadan (right) and Neil Meron will produce|
the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2015.
Photo by Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.®
The Academy has named its producing team for the 87th Oscars: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
Those names may look familiar. The musical pair has produced the two most recent Oscars.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in the news release. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”
A successful Oscars telecast made the decision easy for the Academy.
This year's ceremony drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers, according to the Academy, and reached 74.6 million viewers watching 6+ minutes, the best since 2004.
From the Academy: "The Oscars were TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership in 14 years. The show helped drive increases for the second consecutive year, marking a seven-year high for adults 18–34 (+3%); a nine-year high for teens 12–17 (+13%); and an eight-year high for kids 2–11 (+13%). Social media activity was particularly robust with more than one billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions happening on Facebook on Oscar Sunday."
And don't forget that infamous Oscars selfie with host Ellen DeGeneres, which became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.
The 2015 Oscars are scheduled for Feb. 22. The Academy announced key dates for the 87th Academy Awards season last week. Nominations will be announced Jan. 15.
With more than 300 days until the 2015 telecast, the Academy's announcement (similar to last year's) on is one of the earliest in recent memory. Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer were named producers on June 22, 2010.
Finding a host
The first job of the producers is to select an Oscars host. Both producers will work with President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in selecting an emcee for the Brobdingnagian awards show. Don't expect an announcement until late summer. DeGeneres was announced as this year's Oscar host Aug. 2.
Both Zadan and Meron served as executive producers on the 2002 Best Picture winner "Chicago," which won six Oscars. Their film credits also include "Footloose" (2011), "Hairspray" and "The Bucket List." Zadan also produced the original "Footloose" (1984). Upcoming projects include "Pippin" and "Monster High."
Television work for the pair includes "The Sounds of Music Live!," which drew a record-breaking 21.3 million viewers; the pair will next executive produce "Peter Pan Live!" for NBC. Other producer credits include miniseries "Bonnie and Clyde," NBC musical series "Smash" and Lifetime drama "Drop Dead Diva" as well as TV movies "A Raisin in the Sun" and the upcoming "Steel Magnolias." On Broadway, they recently produced the Tony Award-winning revivals of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Promises, Promises."
Their work in feature film, television and theater productions has earned a total of six Oscars, 11 Emmys, two Tonys, a Grammy, five Golden Globes, two Peabody Awards, five GLAAD Awards and two NAACP Image Awards.
The 87th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2014, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.