It is a big week for producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. They have the live staging of The Sound Of Music starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer on NBC tomorrow night, and four-hour miniseries Bonnie & Clyde starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger airing Sunday and Monday on History, A&E and Lifetime. While most producers abandoned the longform genre when it went out of fashion over the last five years, Zadan and Meron stuck with it through their longform deal at Sony TV, producing mostly movies for Lifetime, including the highly rated Steel Magnolias reboot with an all-black cast. Their loyalty has paid off and the two now are at the forefront of longform’s resurgence. (Zadan and Meron just sold a high-profile Eliot Ness miniseries to NBC.) Coming up for the duo next year is the launch of their new MTV comedy series Happyland, the return of Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva and the filming of E! pilot Songbyrd. Oh, and they also are returning as producers of the Oscars in March. I caught up with Zadan and Meron to talk about Bonnie & Clyde and The Sound Of Music — find out why they call them “historic”, how Underwood traveled to Austria to prepare for playing Maria in SOM and how close Miley Cyrus came to playing Bonnie in B&C — as well as the Oscars, Smash and a possible Steel Magnolia sequel.
DEADLINE: Were you surprised by the longform genre’s resurgence?
ZADAN: We did expect it would come back. Everything is cyclical and we thought that event television had become so scarce between all the reality shows and all the other things that were going on (and also the fact that there were still great movies on HBO and a few other places), that eventually everybody would catch on to bring it back if there was a big hit that warranted it. I think Hatfields & McCoys was so enormous that no one could ignore it anymore; they had to bring it back at that point. READ MORE »
Here’s the first look at NBC‘s three-hour adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The Sound Of Music Live! airs live December 5 and stars Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Christian Borle and Laura Benanti. It’s directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford and exec produced … Read More »
Vinnie Jones is the first actor cast in ABC’s single-camera pilot Galavant, a comedy fairytale written by The Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman, with Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken attached to write the music. Produced by ABC … Read More »
Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle are joining Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer in NBC’s live production of The Sound Of Music, a three-hour broadcast set for December 5. … Read More »
True Blood star Stephen Moyer has been cast as the male lead opposite Carrie Underwood in NBC’s December 5 live holiday production of The Sound of Music. The British actor will play decorated World War I hero Capt. Georg von Trapp, a single father of seven children. Living in Austria on the cusp of World War II, the militaristic but warm-hearted von Trapp engages a young governess, Maria (Underwood), who he hires to take care of his children.
Related: NBC To Air ‘Sound Of Music’ Live Show Dec. 5
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Another veteran ABC executive is heading to NBC. I’ve learned that Quinn Taylor, SVP Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions at ABC Entertainment Group, will be leaving the network after almost 20 years to join rival NBC, … Read More »
A three-hour live staging of the The Sound Of Music will premiere on NBC on Thursday, December 5, the network announced during its upfront presentation today. The project is executive produced by Craig Zadan and … Read More »
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.” Read More »
With Dick Zanuck’s sudden passing today at the age of 77 one of the last direct links of a still-active bigtime Hollywood player to the beginnings of the major studios is also gone. When he was hired in 1962 by his father, the legendary … Read More »
NBC is looking to bring back to broadcast television event musical programming with The Sound Of Music, a live broadcast of a new production of the original Broadway musical to be produced by Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we’re thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades,” said NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. “There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final — and most beloved — collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast.” Casting will begin immediately and an air date will be announced shortly. Read More »