Neil Meron

The Sound of Music Live! - Season 2013
Fellow passionate fans of Julie Andrews' film version of The Sound of Music take note:  it's time to put down our weapons and open up to the idea that young country singer Carrie Underwood may well fill Andrews' shoes as Maria Von Trapp on Thursday night's (Dec. 5) live broadcast of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic.
Hey, Oscar handicappers. Interested in a side wager about how long this year's show will run?  Producers Neil Meron, 57, and Craig Zadan, 63,  say they will really try to bring it in on time, 11 p.m. ET.  To prepare for Sunday night, Meron and Zadan, the team behind Chicago, Hairspray and now TV's Smash, say they watched 40 years of Oscar shows. Said Zadan, "When you watch 30 or 40 years of shows, there's a commonality of time-consuming elements. And you say 'Well, what is that for?' And that used up 15 seconds and that used up 30 seconds, and you start adding up - that's an accumulation of time you could use for entertainment."  They have taken out unnecessary moments.  "There are a lot of pregnant pauses in the show, year after matter who's doing it.  We've scooped out a lot of those pauses and created more time for performance and entertainment."
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