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Zadan and Meron re-up with Touchstone TV

Zadan and Meron re-up with Touchstone TV

Out Emmy-nominated producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have renewed their vows with Touchstone Television, signing a two-year, seven-figure overall deal for their company Storyline Entertainment that covers TV series and first look for musicals and family-friendly fare for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney. Following the duo's success with the Oscar-winning musical Chicago, which they executive-produced, Zadan and Meron said a lot of people were wondering whether the two would continue to be deeply involved in television developing prime-time series, but the pair didn't even hesitate. "Both Craig and I love the series life," Meron said. "It's very exciting. Your voice is heard as a producer. Series is a great, great business to be in, especially when you have partners like we do at Touchstone. They're just incredible people in comedy and drama, and [president] Stephen McPherson runs a great, great company." For Touchstone TV, it was an easy decision to keep the duo in the studio fold. "We are thrilled to continue our creative relationship with Craig and Neil," McPherson said. "They are two of the most talented producers in the industry, and we look forward to many more successful projects together." Under the previous deal with Touchstone TV, the two made their first foray into series television with the ABC drama Veritas and the comedy It's All Relative, which landed on ABC's fall schedule. Another series, Teranus, is getting close to production for an eight-episode limited series run next fall on ABC with a possibility to return as a regular series. "I think that's been a life-changing experience for us," Zadan said. And the two are not slowing down, developing a number of projects for next year, including a comedy for ABC starring Harvey Fierstein; The Rise, a musical drama project for Fox from writer Lizzie Weiss; and a drama from Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin that has yet to be taken out to the networks. For Wonderful World of Disney, where Zadan and Meron have made a mark with such musicals as Cinderella, Annie, and, most recently, The Music Man, Storyline is developing 1776 and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Zadan and Meron hope to next go into production on Hunchback--based on the Disney animated movie and a Berlin stage adaptation--that Sally Robinson (The Music Man) has adapted for the small screen. In addition to Zadan and Meron, Storyline's TV efforts are spearheaded by Dave Mace, the company's senior vice president, television. "We think that he is one of the best execs in town; he has unbelievable taste, and on the top of the taste he follows through, which is a rarity in this business," Meron said of Mace. By closing the deal with Touchstone, Storyline has secured a home for the next two years for its feature, telefilm, and TV series projects. "This deal is the last shoe falling, because we've just concluded, almost simultaneously, the big deal we just made at Revolution Studios for features, the Sony [Pictures Television] deal for long form, and now the Touchstone deal for series and Wonderful World of Disney," Zadan said. "And that concludes the third and final deal of our trilogy."

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