Woody Allen: A look at his new Amazon TV show

Allen will write and direct all the episodes of the half-hour series, which is expected to premiere in 2016. Amazon's series 'Transparent' recently won multiple Golden Globes.

Christophe Ena/AP
Woody Allen attends the French premiere of 'Blue Jasmine' in Paris.

Amazon Studios is delivering Woody Allen as creator of his first-ever TV series.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker will write and direct all of the episodes of the half-hour series. A full season has been ordered for Amazon's Prime Instant Video, the company announced Tuesday. The series is expected to premiere in 2016.

No details on casting were disclosed, nor was the series title announced.

Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price called Allen "a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all time," keeping him "at the creative forefront of American cinema" during a career that spans 50 years.

"I don't know how I got into this," the 79-year-old Allen said in a wryly modest statement. "I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this."

Allen's signing adds another coat of luster to Amazon Studios, a recent entrant in the world of streaming video that is redefining what "television" means. On Sunday, Amazon gained new cachet when the first season of its series "Transparent" won two Golden Globes, including best comedy series.

Allen has masterminded and often starred in more than 40 films since his maiden directorial effort, "What's Up Tiger Lily?," in 1966. His latest movie project is "Magic in the Moonlight," released last year, with yet another film in the pipeline for this year.

The late 1970s saw two of his most celebrated films, "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan."

He has won four Oscars and two Golden Globes. Last year he was presented with the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

But his skills were honed on television, where he first gained widespread notice in the early 1960s as a standup comic, and during the 1950s, when he wrote for Sid Caesar and other TV stars.

His prodigious output through the decades has also included magazine essays, books, and plays. A musical adaptation of his 1994 film comedy, "Bullets Over Broadway," ran on Broadway last year.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.