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Producer Craig Zadan Dead at 69

Craig Zadan, prolific television, film and Broadway producer, died Tuesday of complications following shoulder replacement surgery. Zadan produced television projects, movies and Broadway musicals with Neil Meron. The pair brought five musicals to the screen for NBC, starting with The Sound of Music Live in 2013 and including this year’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

Zadan was 69.

Zadan and Meron were also producers of revivals of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises on Broadway, and NBC’s musical drama Smash.

“On behalf of his life partner, Elwood Hopkins, and his producing partner, Neil Meron, we are stunned that the man behind so many incredible film, theater and television productions — several of them joyous musicals — was taken away so suddenly,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers and technicians he worked with over the years. His absence will be felt in our hearts and throughout our business.”

Zadan and Meron’s productions have earned a total of six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 17 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Grammy Award, six GLAAD Awards, four NAACP Image Awards and two Tony Awards.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.