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.
“Universal Television is thrilled to be continuing and expanding our partnership with Craig and Neil,” said Bajaria. “The incredible creativity, vision and intelligence that they bring to all their projects – on television, in film and on Broadway – is exactly what the future of Universal Television is all about. ‘Smash’ is only the beginning; we look forward to collaborating with them on many exciting projects going forward.”
Edelstein added: “Craig and Neil are two of the best producers in the business, and we are excited to have them developing at NBCU for both the US and International markets. We look forward to bringing their extraordinary ideas to the global television marketplace.”
“We are so excited to be reunited with our longtime collaborator, Bela Bajaria, and to be creating event television for Universal Television, our home for “Smash” and the upcoming live broadcast of “The Sound of Music. Additionally, developing projects for audiences outside of the US with Michael Edelstein is an exciting new prospect for us,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
Based on the Broadway stage musical, “The Sound of Music” is slated as an NBC holiday event; casting is underway and an air date will be announced in the near future.
Zadan and Meron are the producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series and Broadway productions, including NBC’s critically acclaimed series “Smash” and the Lifetime hit series “Drop Dead Diva” and upcoming television movie event “Steel Magnolias,” starring Queen Latifah. All totaled, their films and television movies have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. For their work in television, their productions have amassed 73 Emmy nominations. Their work in theater has received 12 Tony nominations, including two wins. They also have received five Grammy nominations, including one win. Their feature film credits include the Oscar winning “Chicago,” “The Bucket List,” the feature-film musical “Hairspray,” and the recently released “Footloose” (the original film, starring Kevin Bacon, was Zadan’s first feature-film production).
Other television event presentations include: Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth; “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” starring Judy Davis; “Annie” starring Kathy Bates; “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” starring Whitney Houston and Brandy; “Gypsy,” starring Bette Midler; “A Raisin in the Sun,” starring Sean Combs; and NBC’s landmark film, “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story” starring Glenn Close.
Recently, Zadan and Meron were represented on Broadway with a Tony-winning hit revival of the Frank Loesser/Abe Burrows musical comedy, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette and the Tony-winning hit revival of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Neil Simon musical comedy, “Promises, Promises” starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.
Nate Kirtman, Senior Vice President, Corporate PR, NBC Entertainment, 818/777-3111. firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Licata, Executive Vice President, Communications for NBC Entertainment, 818/777-3368, email@example.com