Oscars: Academy brings back Craig Zadan, Neil Meron as producers

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 2015 Oscars.
(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday.

Best known for producing stage-to-screen musicals such as “Hairspray,” “The Music Man” and “Annie,” the New York-born L.A.-based duo steered the Oscars to solid ratings in the past two years.

Last month’s Oscars ceremony, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, drew 43 million average viewers, the biggest audience in 10 years. That number was up about 6% from Zadan and Meron’s 2013 show, hosted by Seth MacFarlane. At the most recent show, DeGeneres also took her infamous Oscar selfie, which became the most retweeted photo of all time on Twitter.

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It remains to be seen whether Zadan and Meron will ask DeGeneres back for 2015. Although there has been a pattern lately at the Oscars of switching up hosts, many observers have said the show would benefit from a more regular presence, as it had with personalities such as Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal in their heyday.

Of the Zadan and Meron announcement, academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “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.”

The 2015 Oscars will take place Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be televised by ABC.


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