The acclaimed motion picture, television and theater producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a second time next year. The Academy Awards will air live on ABC March 2, 2014.
“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 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.”
“We are very honored to have been asked to return as Oscar producers for a second year,” said Zadan and Meron. “We look forward to creating a distinctive and entertaining show.”
“Craig and Neil have great relationships, a sense of showmanship and a passion for our Academy,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “And they’re a pleasure to work with. All perfect qualities for our show.”
The 2013 Oscars hosted by Seth MacFarlane, drew an average audience of 40.3 million total viewers and delivered a 13.0 rating among adults 18-49. The show was TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in the last three years and grew its overall audience for the second straight year (+3 percent), surging 11 percent in adults 18-49 (13.0 rating vs. 11.7 rating) to its best numbers since 2010. In addition, the show scored gains year-to-year with adults 18-34 (+20 percent – 11.3 rating vs. 9.4 rating), hitting its highest number in six years – since 2007. Overall, it was the Oscars second-most-watched telecast since 2005.
Among the innovations that Zadan and Meron plan to bring back to the 2014 show is the Oscar Experience College Search, which allows young filmmakers to assist with bringing the Oscar statuettes on-and-off stage during the show.
The Zadan/Meron Oscars displayed a signature style that incorporated a single concept for the entire evening which linked together the disparate elements of the Oscar show through music, especially classic movie themes and the frequent appearances by MacFarlane to announce the evening’s presenters. The 2013 show was also distinguished by the use of motion picture talent as performers in the show such as the dance numbers performed by Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Zadan and Meron were executive producers for Chicago, which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture. Their credits also include the features Footloose (2011), Hairspray and The Bucket List. Zadan also produced the original Footloose (1984).
Zadan and Meron’s work in television includes the series SMASH and such movies as A Raisin in the Sun and Steel Magnolias.
For 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.