Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to Produce Academy Awards

Film, television and theater producers are hired by AMPAS president Hawk Koch to supervise the 85th Oscar show

Last Updated: August 23, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards, AMPAS president Hawk Koch announced on Thursday.

Zadan and Meron, partners in Storyline Entertainment, first worked together in the New York theatrical community. They are best-known for their work in the musical field, with films that include the Oscar-winning "Chicago," as well as "Hairspray" and "Footloose."

They also produced the recent Broadway revivals of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Promises, Promises," and have been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards for their television work.

AMPASNeither man has been involved with the Academy Awards before.

The search for Oscar producers was spearheaded by Koch after he took office at the beginning of August. Prior to Koch's election, outgoing president Tom Sherak, at the urging of the AMPAS board of governors, had tried to enlist "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels and Academy governor Sid Ganis to produce the Oscars.

Koch told TheWrap after his election that finding a producer and host was his first priority.

"I want to make sure and have fun on the show," he said. "I think comedy is important, and I think that legacy is important … I hope we can do something that shows both where we come from and where we're going."

Also read: New Academy President Hawk Koch: My Oscars Wish List

The AMPAS press release:

Beverly Hills, CA – Acclaimed motion picture, television and theater producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards, Academy President Hawk Koch announced today. This will be the duo’s first involvement with the Oscars. The 85th Academy Awards will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

"Craig and Neil are forward thinkers who bring a unique perspective to the Oscar show," Koch said. "Their enormous collective talent, coupled with their love of film, serves our show perfectly."

"We are very excited to collaborate with Hawk and everyone at the Academy to produce this year's Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "We hope to utilize our experience in producing features, TV and theater to bring something fresh and special to this incredible awards show. When we filmed ‘The Bucket List,’ we made our own personal bucket list, and producing the Oscars was #1. It’s truly a great honor."

"Craig and Neil have great talent relationships and bring an infectious energy to the production," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson." They are creative producers in the best sense of the word."

Zadan and Meron served as executive producers on the 2002 Best Picture winner "Chicago," which won Oscars® in 6 of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. 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 the upcoming "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.

The 85th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.