Craig Zadan, right, and Neil Meron are set to produce the 2013 Oscars. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
Veteran musical producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 2013 Oscars ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday.
The announcement comes less than a month after Hawk Koch was appointed as the new academy president, and it follows the academy's failed attempt to recruit Lorne Michaels to produce and Jimmy Fallon to host the 85th Academy Awards.
Zadan and Meron executive produced the Oscar-winning musical "Chicago," and were behind “Hairspray” and the original and the remake of "Footloose." Most recently they produced the Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman film "The Bucket List."
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"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," the two said in a statement, adding that they intend to utilize their experience producing films, theater and television shows to "bring something fresh and special" to the annual show.
Producing the Oscars is often considered a thankless task. The show is routinely criticized in the media, and the producers, no matter how original, are often hamstrung by the best picture selections. Years in which big box-office grossers are contenders in the race often result in bigger TV ratings for the show.
Zadan and Meron, who are currently executive producing the NBC Broadway musical series "Smash" and developing a miniseries around the story of Bonnie and Clyde for the History Channel, apparently will have to do a lot of juggling in the next six months as they prepare for what is frequently called Hollywood’s biggest night."
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