Craig Zadan and Neil Meron already executive produce NBC/Universal TV’s series Smash and recently teamed with the network for a live Sound Of Music TV special. Now the duo has inked a first-look deal with Uni TV and NBCUniversal’s international TV production division to produce series and specials for U.S. and international markets. “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,” Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. Added NBCU International TV Prods president Michael Edelstein, “We look forward to bringing their extraordinary ideas to the global television marketplace.”
Based on the Broadway stage musical, The Sound Of Music is slated as an NBC holiday event; casting is underway. In addition to Smash, which is heading into its second season, Zadan and Meron executive produce Lifetime’s series Drop Dead Diva and the upcoming Steel Magnolias movie remake starring Queen Latifah. Their feature film credits include the Oscar-winning Chicago, The Bucket List, Hairspray and Footloose. They started off in TV movies with Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth; Annie starring Kathy Bates; Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Whitney Houston and Brandy; and Gypsy, starring Bette Midler. Recently, Zadan and Meron produced the Broadway productions of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette, and Promises, Promises starring Chenoweth and Sean Hayes.