Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oscars 2014: Craig Zadan, Neil Meron return as producers

Craig Zadan (right) and Neil Meron will produce
the 86th Academy Awards on March 2, 2014.
Photo by Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.®
The Academy has named its producing team for the 86th Oscars: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Those names may look familiar. The musical pair produced this year's Oscars.

“Craig and Neil have the overwhelming support of the Academy's Governors to produce the Oscars again in 2014," said Academy President Hawk Koch, in a statement. "In order to establish continuity with this year's enormously successful show, we felt it was important to give these consummate professionals the green light now to begin creating another great evening."

While the 85th Oscars were not generally well liked by critics, especially divisive host Seth MacFarlane, ratings were up.

The ABC telecast drew an average audience of 40.3 million total viewers, delivering a 13.0 rating among adults 18-49. It was TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in the last 3 years, and grew its overall audience for the second straight year by 3 percent, with 11 percent in adults 18-49 — its best numbers since 2010. The show also scored year-to-year gains with adults 18-34 (up more than 20 percent – 11.3 rating vs. 9.4 rating), hitting its highest number in 6 years – since 2007. Overall, it was the Oscars second-most-watched telecast since 2005.

With more than 300 days until the 2014 telecast, the Academy's announcement on Tuesday was one of the earliest in recent memory. Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer were named producers on June 22, 2010.


Finding a host
The most important jobs of the producers is finding a host. Zadan and Meron will get right to work with President Koch in selecting an emcee for the Brobdingnagian awards show.

Background
Both Zadan and Meron served as executive producers on the 2002 Best Picture winner "Chicago," which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their film credits also include "Footloose" (2011), "Hairspray" and "The Bucket List." Zadan also produced the original "Footloose" (1984).

Television work for the pair includes the NBC 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 has amassed 73 Emmy nominations 12 Tony nominations and seven Grammy nominations.

Your thoughts
What do you think of the selection? Who would you recommend to them to host the Oscars? Do you think it will be a musical host?

The 86th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2013, will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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