The producers of Footloose, Chicago, Hairspray and TV’s Smash are taking on this year’s Academy Awards telecast.
Prepare to buy stock in dancing shoes – now!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would produce the 85th annual awards ceremony, set for Feb. 24.
They have never been nominated for an Oscar, though as executive producers of 2002’s Chicago, their film has won the top prize. They have shared eight Emmy nominations on such TV projects as 2008’s A Raisin in the Sun, 2003’s The Reagans, and 2001’s Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.
On Broadway, they have produced the revivals of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises.
While they’ve produced quite a few musicals and bio-pics for TV, they haven’t yet produced a major awards show apart from the 2005 GLAAD Media Awards.
Last year’s Oscar telecast was fraught with development drama, with producer Brett Ratner dropping out in November after making an anti-gay remark at a screening Q&A, which led his friend and Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to quit the show as host. Ultimately, Billy Crystal returned for his 10th go-round as master of ceremonies, with Don Mischer and Brian Grazer producing.
There had been some speculation in recent weeks that Jimmy Fallon may host with Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels producing, but reports indicated that proposal fell apart since ABC broadcasts the Oscars and Fallon is a major late-night rival from NBC.