The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Feb. 22, 2015.
“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. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”
“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,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
The 86th Oscars on March 2 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. 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. Additionally, Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.
Zadan and Meron’s feature film, television and theater productions have earned a total of six Oscars, 11 Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, five Golden Globes, two Peabody Awards, five GLAAD Awards and two NAACP Image Awards. For film, they executive produced the 2002 best picture winner Chicago, which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their credits also include the feature films Footloose (2011), Hairspray (2007) and The Bucket List (2007). Zadan also produced the original Footloose (1984).
For television, Zadan and Meron executive produced last year’s The Sound of Music Live!. Their other credits include last year’s miniseries Bonnie and Clyde, the TV series Smash and Drop Dead Diva. The duo has also produced such Emmy-nominated television movies as Steel Magnolias, A Raisin in the Sun, as well as Annie, Serving in Silence, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Gypsy.
Zadan and Meron’s upcoming projects include executive producing the television musical Peter Pan Live! Their new MTV comedy series, Happyland, premieres this summer. For the big screen, Zadan and Meron are producing Pippin for the Weinstein Company, a musical based on the extensive Beach Boys song catalog for Fox 2000 Pictures, and Monster High based on the Mattel franchise for Universal Pictures.