EXCLUSIVE: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are behind NBC‘s upcoming live staging ofThe Sound Of Music, are developing another ambitious event program for the network. The duo has teamed with NBC for Nemesis, an eight-hour miniseries about famous Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who was portrayed by Kevin Costner in Brian Fe Palma’s Oscar-winning The Untouchables. The project, from Sony Pictures TV — where Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment has a long-form deal — is based on the book Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt. It tells the true story of Ness in 1935, post-Untouchables, as Cleveland’s newly appointed Director of Public Safety. Bodies have started turning up — each one decapitated and dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled and the population is terrorized over America’s first serial killer, the so-called “Torso Killer.” Though it’s not his turf, Ness is forced to take over the case, but the more energy he pours into the investigation, the more it takes over and threatens to destroy his life.
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that E! is finalizing deals for its first two scripted pilots. The orders, which will be be cast-contingent, are going to dramas Songbyrd, from writer Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy), top songwriter Diane Warren and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and The Royals, from Lionsgate TV and the One Tree Hill team of creator Mark Schwahn and producers Brian Robbins & Joe Davola. Both projects were part More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
Last April, E! announced its first scripted slate as the reality/entertainment news-driven cable network signaled plans to enter the scripted space under its new NBCUniversal leadership. As E! is gearing up to greenlight its first three scripted pilots by Memorial Day, at its upfront today the network unveiled its new slate of scripted projects that come from well-known writers and producers. Several of the projects were originally developed for broadcast networks earlier More
CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON RETURN TO
PRODUCE THE OSCARS®
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – 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, Academy President Hawk Koch announced. The Academy Awards® will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, 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 More
Sunday, February 24, 2013 – Based on Nielsen’s True Fast National Ratings, ABC’s 2013 “The Oscars” is TV’s Most Watched Entertainment Telecast in 3 Years
ABC’s “The Oscars” is Up Year to Year in Viewers and Adults 18-49 to its
2nd-Most-Watched Telecast Since ’05, and Spikes to a 6-Year High in Adults 18-34
Television’s Biggest Awards Show, ABC’s “The Oscars” Paces Well Ahead
of the 2013 “Grammy Awards” and the 2013 “Golden Globes”
“The Oscars’” Online Usage and Social Activity Surges Year Over Year More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch will play the infamous bank-robbing couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde, Lifetime/History’s four-hour miniseries directed by Oscar-nominated helmer Bruce Beresford and produced by Sony Pictures TV and Craig Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment. They join Oscar winners Holly Hunter and William Hurt, who were recently cast in the project. Written by John Rice and Joe Batteer, the mini is based on the true story of Clyde Barrow (Hirsch), a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker (Grainger), an impressionable, petite, More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
Carrie Underwood is following into Julie Andrews’ footsteps. In her first major acting gig, the Grammy winner has been tapped to star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound Of Music. It’s based on the original Broadway musical and is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash and the 2013 Academy Awards. The three-hour event will air near the holidays in 2013. “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” said NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.” Added Zadan and Meron, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.” More
By Lesley Goldberg
The Queen Latifah starrer from “Smash” executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ranks as the network’s third-most-watched telecast ever.
The telepic, starring Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard, collected 6.5 million total viewers, ranking as the female-skewing cable network’s third-most-watched telecast ever.
The remake from Latifah and Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron posted Lifetime’s best delivery since 2006’s Life is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, and the No. 1 cable movie among total viewers since 2007 (excluding miniseries). More
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are developing another hourlong series for NBC in which music plays a key part. The duo is executive producing a dramedy written/executive produced by Grey’s Anatomy alumna Krista Vernoff. It will feature the music catalog of songwriter Diane Warren, who serves as a consulting producer. More
By Nellie Andreeca
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have set up the first project through the first-look deal they signed with Universal TV and NBCUni’s international TV production division in July. NBC has bought an hourlong drama from the duo and former General Hospital head writer Sri Rao. Tentatively titled White House Confidential, the project is described as an upstairs-downstairs-type soap set in the White House, told from the point of view of a young female doctor who has a secret from her past. More
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.” More
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Storyline Entertainment’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have signed a new two-year deal with Sony Pictures Television for TV movies and miniseries. The duo, who just closed a first-look deal with Universal TV and NBCUniversal International for series and specials, have set up several high-profile new longform projects: movies about Anna Nicole Smith and Warren Jeffs at Lifetime and a Bonnie & Clyde miniseries at History. More
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. & LONDON, UK – July 31, 2012 – Universal Television and NBCUniversal International have signed a development deal with Storyline Entertainment’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Smash,” “Chicago,” “Hairspray”) that will give the studio a first look at series and specials created by the acclaimed multi-award winning producers for US and international television markets. The deal was announced today by Bela Bajaria, Executive Vice President, Universal Television and Michael Edelstein, President, NBCUniversal International Television Production. More
By Jamie Wetherbe
Network television will soon be live with the sound of music.
NBC announced Friday that it will partner with “Smash” producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for a live TV broadcast of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “The Sound of Music.”
“There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s, and we’re thrilled to do it once again,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a release. More
By Kenneth Jones
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, of “Dreamgirls” movie fame, will play a Tony Award-winning Broadway star in a multi-episode arc in the second season of the NBC-TV musical series “Smash.” The casting was announced by Universal on June 22.
Shooting for the hourlong series’ next chapter begins this summer in and around New York City. It will return to the NBC schedule in mid-season, in the winter. Jeremy Jordan, a 2012 Tony nominee for Broadway’s Newsies, was previously announced the join the cast in season two.
Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actress-singer Hudson will make her first appearance in the second season’s first episode. Hudson will play Veronica Moore, a Broadway star “who impacts the lives” of Broadway newbie Karen (Katharine McPhee) and veteran chorus girl Ivy (Megan Hilty), according to the producers. More
By DAVE ITZKOFF
Extra, extra! Hey, look at the headline! By night (and on matinee days), Jeremy Jordan is a Broadway star playing the leader of a feisty gang of turn-of-the-20th-century newspaper boys. Now, by day and in whatever free time he has left, he’ll be playing one of the aspiring Broadway stars hoping to hit it big in a developing musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe on “Smash.”
Mr. Jordan, a Tony Award nominee for his lead role in “Newsies the Musical,” will join the ever-evolving roster of performers on that NBC series in its second season, a person with direct knowledge of plans for “Smash” said on Thursday night. (The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the series has not More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
NBC has renewed midseason musical drama Smash for a second season. The move is not surprising given that fact that Smash was the highest-profile and most heavily promoted new NBC series this season. With NBC’s top entertainment show, The Voice, as a lead-in, Smash ranks as the network’s highest rated drama in adults 18-49 (2.6 rating) and total viewers (7.7 million). After a strong start the night after the Super Bowl, Smash dropped in the ratings but leveled off relatively quickly, staying above the 2 18-49 rating with the help of its big lead-in. Smash, which posted a 2.3 demo rating on Monday, chronicles the birth of a Broadway musical. Stemming from an idea of executive producer Steven Spielberg, the series stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston, More
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana: ‘M’Lynn’ (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Scott), Annelle (Oduye) and Shelby (Condola Rashad). Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that bring women together. More