Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers for NBC's new musical drama "Smash."
Zadan and Meron are the producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series and Broadway productions. All totaled, their films and television movies have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, and two Peabodys. For their work in television, their movies have amassed 69 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 hit television series "Drop Dead Diva" started its third season on Lifetime in 2011. The critically acclaimed series was created by Josh Berman and stars newcomer Brooke Elliott and veteran Margaret Cho.
The producing duo were recently honored by the Casting Society of America with Career Achievement Awards at the 24th Annual Artios Awards.
Their recent three-hour television movie event of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," with Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan, was nominated for three Emmys, including Outstanding Television Movie, and for a Golden Globe for Best Made for Television Movie. The film was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best Television Movie or Miniseries and by the Producers Guild of America for Best TV Movie or Miniseries of the Year. "Raisin" was also nominated for six NAACP Image Awards, winning three, including Outstanding Television Movie.
Zadan and Meron's latest feature project was the Warner Bros. film "The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and directed by Rob Reiner, which won the National Board of Review's Top Ten Pictures of the Year. It was also a box office hit grossing $175 million worldwide.
Zadan and Meron produced the smash hit feature film musical "Hairspray," which was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), and won many awards at both the Hollywood and Palm Springs Film Festivals. It grossed over $200 million worldwide.
In 2007, they were honored with the Hollywood Film Festival's Producers of the Year award for "Hairspray" and "The Bucket List."
Their feature film "Chicago," which they executive produced for Miramax, won the Academy Award as Best Picture of the Year. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, it won six. Nominated for seven Golden Globes, the film won three, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). "Chicago" has gone on to become Miramax's highest-grossing movie in the studio's history, and was the first movie musical to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 34 years.
Their most recent television musical, Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, received five Emmy nominations.
"Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," starring Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard, was both a critical and ratings success, topping most Ten Best lists. It received 13 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries, and won five. The movie was also nominated for three Golden Globes and won one.
Zadan and Meron's television production of "The Beach Boys: An American Family" was nominated for three Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries.
Zadan and Meron's new version of the musical "Annie," which starred Kathy Bates, won two Emmys, a Peabody Award, and a TV Guide Award for Favorite TV Movie or Miniseries. It was nominated for 12 Emmys, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, and was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best TV Movie.
The pair produced Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," starring Whitney Houston and Brandy. The critically acclaimed musical received the highest ratings for a television movie on ABC in over a decade, reaching over 60 million viewers. The production also garnered seven Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Special of the Year.
Zadan and Meron also produced "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story," starring Glenn Close and Judy Davis. This landmark movie received six Emmy nominations and won three. The show was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and won a prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting.
Their first television movie event was "Gypsy" in 1993, a three-hour musical, starring Bette Midler. "Gypsy" was a ratings and critical triumph and was nominated for 12 Emmys, including Outstanding Made for TV Movie (the first such nomination for a film musical in the Academy's history). The show was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Telefilm.
Other critically acclaimed television events include: "Martin & Lewis," starring Sean Hayes; "Wedding Wars," starring John Stamos and Eric Dane; "What Makes a Family," starring Whoopi Goldberg, Brooke Shields and Cherry Jones; "The Three Stooges," starring Evan Handler and Michael Chiklis; "Brian's Song," starring Sean Maher and Mekhi Phifer; "Living Proof," starring Harry Connick Jr., Amanda Bynes, Angie Harmon and Bernadette Peters.
"The Reagans," starring James Brolin and Judy Davis, received seven Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Zadan's first feature film production was Paramount Picture's "Footloose," starring Kevin Bacon, which received two Oscar nominations, one Golden Globe nomination, and a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack Album.
Zadan is also the author of the critically acclaimed "Sondheim & Co.," the first book ever written about Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. He also produced the first-ever celebration of Sondheim's work, called "Sondheim: A Musical Tribute," which was staged at the Shubert Theater on Broadway. He subsequently also produced the digitally remixed and re-mastered Original Broadway Cast Album of the show which, at the time, was the first benefit tribute recording by a major record label in Broadway history.
Their new feature version of "Footloose" was released by Paramount in fall 2011, and is directed by Craig Brewer.
In 2010, Zadan and Meron returned to their theater roots with the first Broadway revival of the Neil Simon/Burt Bacharach/Hal David musical comedy, "Promises, Promises," starring Emmy winner Sean Hayes as well as Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. The show was nominated for four Tony Awards (winning one), as well as Best Musical Revival nominations from the Drama Desk Awards, the Drama League Awards, and the Outer Circle Critics Awards.
They are currently represented on Broadway with a Tony-winning hit in the 50th anniversary revival of the Frank Loesser musical comedy, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. The revival was nominated for eight Tony Awards (winning one), four Astaire Awards, three Drama League Awards, five Outer Critics Circle Awards and five Drama Desk Awards.