Woody Allen Is Writing and Directing a TV Series for Amazon

Woody Allen Is Writing and Directing a TV Series for Amazon

Jan 13, 2015

Sixty years ago, long before he started making movies, Woody Allen moved to Hollywood to write for television. Over the next decade, he worked on such programs as The Colgate Comedy Hour and The Sid Caesar Show. Now, after all his time as one of the most recognized and prolific American auteurs in cinema, he's returning to the small screen.

It's a very different medium, though, then when Allen was starting out, and the outlet for his new project is a prime example (no pun intended). Amazon Studios has snatched the filmmaker to develop a series for the online retailer's growing -- and now award-winning -- original-content division. And he's set to write and direct every episode of its first season. 

This series is due next year, for streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, but as of now there's apparently no plan in place for what the show will entail. In expected self-deprecating form, Allen stated, "I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that [Amazon Studios head] Roy Price will regret this."

Yeah, sure he will. An exclusive Woody Allen series is going to be a huge draw, and it won't even matter if it's not that great. Since making the transition to movies almost 50 years ago, Allen has made more than 50 features, and a number of them are just mediocre but we're okay with that because he's still delivering more great movies than most writer-directors manage in a lifetime.

The pressure is on a bit more because a TV series all his own is new territory for the 24-time Oscar nominee (and four-time winner). Maybe the episodes will relate to his features in that not all will be amazing but then more than a few will be some of the best television ever made.

The question shouldn't be (even if he does bring it up himself) whether it'll be any good. Instead we should be wondering if it'll be a comedy or a drama. Some kind of mystery or thriller or other genre focus or more of a character-and-relationship study. Perhaps he'll borrow some inspiration from Ingmar Bergman's TV work, namely Scenes from a Marriage

Or, how about he go back to the pilot he made for ABC in 1962, which wasn't picked up. Titled The Laughmakers, the show followed a struggling improv group in New York City. That could easily be updated, though it would have to involve modern media like online video (that'd be appropriate given the series' home), or he could do a retro '60s-set show, which we'll want when Mad Men ends this year.

Just one more preference: Allen should star or at least have a major role in the show.  




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