Nell Minow passed along some pretty bizarre and fascinating entertainment news -- that Woody Allen has agreed to write and direct a new "TV" series with Amazon.
At the moment, it's going by the clever name of The Untitled Woody Allen Project. The half-hour comedy series has a full-season order (though there's no mention of how many episodes there will be), but Allen will write and direct all episodes.
"Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honor to be working with him on his first television series," Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. "From 'Annie Hall' to 'Blue Jasmine,' Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn't be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year."
But my favorite quote is the one from Woody Allen.
"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 Roy Price will regret this."
Mind you, I suspect he does have at least some ideas, even if they're not fully fleshed-out. And I'm quite sure that Roy Price is already thrilled with it, even if the series turns out to be a total disaster (which seems thoroughly unlikely) since it will no doubt bring in subscribers whatever the series ends up being.
What I also suspect is that what was most appealing to Woody Allen is that he likely has been given 100% carte blanche to do whatever in the world he wants. And though he probably has a lot of freedom on his movies, a lot of freedom is not the same as "100% carte blanche," and he also doesn't have to write a script on spec in hopes of raising the money. But mainly it's that 100% carte blanche thing...
By the way, it's worth noting that this is the sort of thing I was writing about back when the Writers Guild went on strike in 2007 and signed deals with Amazon and Netflix and such places that would give them much more control of their work (and I believe even copyright, though I can't swear to that). I said that by the AMPTP pretending that they hadn't studied the Internet and didn't know if there was money to be made from it, and therefore offering literally zero to the WGA, it opened the door to these alternative deals which would, in term, open the doors to actual competition to the studios and networks. And with this news, and other highly successful series from Netflix and Amazon (and others upcoming, I'm sure...), that clearly is the case.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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