Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are leaving the Academy Awards behind after three consecutive years as the show’s producers.
‘Frankly before the Oscars this year were even broadcast, we were questioning whether or not, if we were ever asked, whether we wanted to do it again, and we had long talked about it,’ Meron tells Deadline Hollywood.
He added: ‘The past couple of years have been incredible, but at the same time, we’ve also put a lot of projects on hold, and they haven’t been getting our full attention.’
Zadan and Meron had their most success when Ellen DeGeneres hosted last year to huge ratings and some comedy bits that went viral including an all-star selfie that crashed Twitter.
This year’s show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, was down in the ratings and had far fewer buzz-worthy moments than the year before although a Sound of Music medley by Lady Gaga (pictured with Meron and Zadan) was widely praised.
Each year shortly after the Oscar telecast, the Academy would announce that Meron and Zadan had been signed for another year. What was not known was that the pair had been signed to a three-year contact which began with the 2013 show hosted by Seth MacFarlane.
‘They said this idea came about because of having people come on for a year, they learned how to do the show, and then they’re gone,’ said Zadan. ‘So there’s no continuity, and the ability to work with people for several years in a row seems like a really better way to go. So it was at that point we committed to three years.’
Only the late Gil Cates had produced the Oscars for three consecutive years.
‘We’ve got to go back to our day job,’ Zadan said. ‘So it just sort of worked out where we just thought we feel like we’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish by doing the show for three years.’