By Michael Gioia
and Kenneth Jones
03 Aug 2012
As previously reported, Zadan and Meron, producers of Hollywood's "Chicago" and "Hairspray" and Broadway's Promises, Promises and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, have also signed a development deal with Universal Television and NBCUniversal International to give the studio a "first look at series and specials created" by the award-winning producers for U.S. and international television markets.
According to Deadline.com, Zadan and Meron have teamed with Judith Verno to executive produce the Smith and Jeffs biopics. The Lifetime film documenting the life of late model and actress Smith is written by John Rice and Joe Batteer; Art Monterastelli pens the film based on Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) leader Jeffs, who was convicted of child sexual assault.
Also at the Lifetime network, Zadan and Meron are in early development stages on a film based on the true story of Constance McMillen, the lesbian teen who was denied access to her high school prom. The project, previously with ABC Family, is written and directed by John Gray.
Other projects in development with Zadan and Meron are a History Channel four-hour miniseries based on gun-slinging outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, written by Rice and Batteer; a Bob Fosse biopic for HBO, penned by Matthew Wilder and directed and produced by Bryan Singer; and a six-hour miniseries based on Studio 54 by Gary Lennon.
Zadan and Meron are the producers of the Lifetime hit series "Drop Dead Diva" and upcoming television movie "Steel Magnolias," starring Queen Latifah. Their films and television movies have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. For their work in television, their productions have earned 73 Emmy nominations. Their work in theatre has received 12 Tony nominations, including two wins. They also have received five Grammy nominations, winning twice.
Their feature film credits include the Oscar-winning "Chicago," "The Bucket List," the feature-film musical "Hairspray," and the recently released "Footloose" (the original film, starring Kevin Bacon, was Zadan’s first feature-film production).
Other television event presentations include Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth; "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," starring Judy Davis; "Annie" starring Kathy Bates; "Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella," starring Whitney Houston and Brandy; "Gypsy," starring Bette Midler; "A Raisin in the Sun," starring Sean Combs; and NBC's groundbreaking film, "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story," starring Glenn Close.
The second season of "Smash," the musical TV drama about the making of a Broadway musical, is currently filming in New York City.