Oscars call back Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for 2014 Oscar Telecast

With higher ratings and a much talked-about broadcast, there seemed no point in not inviting back Zadan and Meron and they were approved by overwhelming support.

The show received complaints and accolades — me, I had less complaints than others as I thought the appearance of many of the singers, like Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey was wonderful.

Now onto the host. Let’s spitball that one, shall we? I bet they go with a woman – but they can’t have Globes’ sloppy seconds with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Would they ever dare hire Melissa McCarthy? Oprah?

What do you think, readers?

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, we felt it was important to give these consummate professionals the green light now to begin creating another great evening.”

“We are very honored to have been asked to return as Oscar producers for a second year,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “We look forward to creating a distinctive and entertaining show.”

“Craig and Neil have great relationships, a sense of showmanship, and a passion for our Academy,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “And they’re a pleasure to work with. All perfect qualities for our show.”

The February 2013 Oscars hosted by Seth MacFarlane, drew an average audience of 40.3 million total viewers and delivered a 13.0 rating among adults 18-49. The show was TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in the last 3 years, and grew its overall audience for the 2nd straight year (+3%), surging 11% in adults 18-49 (13.0 rating vs. 11.7 rating) to its best numbers since 2010. In addition, the show scored gains year-to-year with adults 18-34 (+20% – 11.3 rating vs. 9.4 rating), hitting its highest number in 6 years – since 2007. Overall, it was the Oscars second-most-watched telecast since 2005.

Among the innovations that Zadan and Meron plan to bring back to the 2014 show is the Oscar Experience College Search, which allows young filmmakers to assist with bringing the Oscar statuettes on-and-off stage during the show.

The Zadan/Meron Oscars displayed a signature style that incorporated a single concept for the entire evening which linked together the disparate elements of the Oscar show through music, especially classic movie themes and the frequent appearances by MacFarlane to announce the evening’s presenters. The 2013 show was also distinguished by the use of motion picture talent as performers in the show such as the dance numbers performed by Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Zadan and Meron served as executive producers for the 2002 “Best Picture” winner “Chicago,” which won Oscars® in 6 of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their credits also include the features “Footloose” (2011), “Hairspray,” and “The Bucket List.” Zadan also produced the original “Footloose” (1984).

Zadan and Meron’s work in television includes the series “SMASH” and such movies as “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Steel Magnolias.”

For Broadway, they recently produced the Tony Award® winning revivals of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Promises, Promises.”

Their work has amassed 73 Emmy® nominations; 12 Tony nominations; and seven Grammy® nominations.

The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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  1. April 16, 2013

    Needs to be JT. They’d be silly to go with anyone other than him. Been saying it for a while now…

  2. April 16, 2013

    Timberlake does meet all requirements: singing, charming, some acting and good looking.

  3. Bryce Forestieri
    April 16, 2013


  4. April 16, 2013

    Sasha, your prediction that the host will be female seems pretty astute. However, I wonder if the producers, if they indeed stay, are going to require that she jive with their Broadway musical sensibilities. Rosie O’Donnell would come to mind if this was pre-2002 when she was the “Queen of Nice.” Otherwise …

    Makes me think they might go with someone like Neil Patrick Harris …

  5. SallyinChicago
    April 16, 2013

    Alec Baldwin just opined that hosting is the hardest job and it doesn’t pay well. I actually liked Seth McFarland, but he’s not coming back. I think whoever it is should be semi-permanent like Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal. Bring in someone who’s going to be there for a few years. One of the funniest WH Correspondence comedians was Seth Myerson. He’s not movie, he’s TV, but he was good.

  6. SallyinChicago
    April 16, 2013

    ooh….someone else they can consider — Wanda Sykes!

  7. April 16, 2013

    I’m glad they’re coming back. I thought the show was great this year. If we can’t get Seth again, maybe it’s time for a host to host again.

    So Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, Oprah… one of those guys. I don’t think Dave will want to do it again although I really enjoyed that show.

  8. SeattleMoviegoer
    April 16, 2013

    Leno, despite all the criticism he’s gotten in the past few years, should get a shot. He’s funny, smart, and loves movies. And he certainly will have some time on his hands next year.

  9. Christophe
    April 16, 2013

    Oprah and Melissa are very interesting suggestions. I would add in the mix Sarah Silverman, the female equivalent of Seth McFarlane, she also does some funny singing (I’m f***ing Matt Damon). Any of those 3 women would be amazing!

  10. Luke
    April 17, 2013

    So it will be another hot bloated mess. I think I’ll just watch the highlights on youtube after.

  11. Mr. Pricklepants
    April 17, 2013

    Well, I guess we can expect even more musical tributes from these two clowns.

  12. April 17, 2013

    Although I am not one who bows to the shrine of Billy Crystal the one he hosted 2 years ago in terms of presenting the nominees was for me one of the more interesting in years. Having people around the production and casts of the nominated talk about those who were nominated about the film was a great idea that unlike the nominees or only the actors speaking about the acting nominees did not feel self-serving.

    I could have lived with MacFarlane hosting if the presentation actually did a better contextualizing the movies that year instead of cramming a team of 3 Best Picture nominees into a montage throughout the night. Heck you would have no idea what the Oscars were or musicals were because of how context free Zedon and Meron made the telecast.

    Kimmel is buddies with the group of Affleck, Damon, Clooney, and Pitt so it would not shock me if he is the one who got the job.

  13. Evelyn Garver
    April 17, 2013

    Oprah is far too earnest to be entertaining in this venue. I love the JT notion. They could always have appearances by comedians.

  14. April 17, 2013


  15. Sam
    April 17, 2013

    Oh my God!!! The worst Oscar broadcast since Rob Lowe…what the F is the academy thinking? Oh yeah…ratings. That’s all that matters. Well…there goes the rest of whatever class it had. Yay…the High School Musical Oscars up next! Ellen is the only acceptable host. Melissa Mcarthy? Are you kidding? She could barely host SNL. Overratted!

  16. Sam
    April 17, 2013

    That being said….the suggestion of Wanda Sykes is brilliant!

  17. AJ
    April 17, 2013

    Awful choice! Another year of song-and-dance numbers? Give me a break!

  18. April 17, 2013

    Hahaha Betty White!

  19. Bob Burns
    April 17, 2013

    why not just let Harvey go ahead and host?

  20. JimG.
    April 17, 2013

    This is disappointing. Their telecast was a crushing bore. The sound was terrible; the remote orchestra was too loud for the singers to sing over. The only thing that saved it was Seth, and he’s not coming back.

    I really hope they learned from their errors (at the very least the sound issues), but I would imagine that everyone told them it was a great show even if some of that was politic. So they probably think that doing the same thing would be great. I think someone needs to show the Academy how many viewers Seth gave them and how many the lame musical tributes lost them.

    I hope the right Seth-saving host comes along or else it will be another crushing snoozefest.

  21. April 17, 2013

    why not just let Harvey go ahead and host?

    it’s complicated.

  22. Tony
    April 17, 2013

    Meryl Streep could host as a different person in each segment — Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Miranda Priestley, Sister Beauvier, Susan Orleans, Ethel Rosenberg and the rabbi!

  23. Filipe
    April 17, 2013

    They should bring back McFarlane, but with this time he would be along with Emma Stone. That nominations broadcast was just awesome!

  24. Glenn UK
    April 18, 2013

    I think Melissa McCarthy is an inspired choice. She simply makes me laugh out loud. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling would be something too and we could have a night of flirtiness and suggestion. But most of all, I agree that Barbra and Shirley performing really did take the show up a notch. Both are musical royalty in my eyes. Let’s hope that they can at least get Barbra back again next time. The Oscars is really a difficult show to tinker with – it’s an awards show and we basically tune in to see who wins ……. you really can’t do much more than what it says on the lid. It’s all down to the host.

  25. Zooey
    April 18, 2013

    I think that Jim Rash & Nat Faxon would be great hosts, especially Jim. He’s a quick thinker and this Angelina Jolie gig at the Oscars two years ago was a highlight and should make him a possible host.

  26. SFMike
    April 18, 2013

    Seriously, you’d think a couple of old queens like Z & M could come up with a more fabulous show. It’s like they’re afraid people will say “that was too gay”. But “too boring” is apparently perfectly acceptable. Not to mention the flogging of their own past, er, “triumphs”. I agree that NPH would be a great host but I think the Tonys have him nailed down.

  27. April 18, 2013

    Kristin Wiig and Will Ferrel! They were hilarious at the Golden Gobes. Well, except for Tommy Lee Jones!

  28. Q Mark
    April 18, 2013

    I look forward to the musical number commemorating the 11th anniversary of Chicago’s best picture win.

    I agree that the next host will also be ‘Broadwayish,’ or in some way have a somewhat old-timey musial feel like Macfarlane. Of past hosts, Jackman stands out as a possible favourite — maybe he and Hathaway do it?

    If I can suggest a new choice, why not Martin Short? He’s funny, he can sing, he’s got an old-timey host vibe and he is adored by everyone in Hollywood.

  29. Sam
    April 20, 2013

    Martin Short is an inspired idea…but, he can’t pull the snot nosed crowd in. Next year they’ll have to give Kristen Stewart an Oscar….or perhaps just give Lawrence another one…who really cares since it’s all gone to hell anyway.

    So, it’s okay if the camera angles and shots were awful, the sound was awful, the show was, awful…and sexist. The musical numbers were awful, and the show lacked overall class and any impression whatsoever that filmmaking is an ART form. Who cares…ratings were up!! Rehire those Chicago

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