Amazon has enlisted Woody Allen to create his first TV series, which will premiere on its video-streaming service and bolster the online retailer's emerging role as a force in Hollywood.
Mr. Allen will write and direct the untitled half-hour series that has been ordered up for one full season, Amazon said in a statement. The series, along with all of the e-commerce company's original programs, will be available for online streaming to subscribers to Amazon's Prime service, which costs $99 per year.
The investment in Mr. Allen's series aligns with Amazon's recent strategy producing original shows and competing with Netflix and HBO, which have also attracted viewers with exclusive content. Amazon picked up two Golden Globe Awards this week for its original series "Transparent," which beat out programs from HBO, the CW Network and Netflix to win best TV series, musical or comedy, as well as best actor for Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the main character.
"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, VP-Amazon Studios, said in the statement.
Prime is Amazon's annual program that offers shoppers two-day shipping and other perks, such as access to a web library of movies and shows that can be viewed on TVs, computers and mobile devices. While the Seattle-based company doesn't disclose how many of its customers pay for Prime, analysts' estimates range from 20 million to 35 million subscribers.
Mr. Allen, who has directed films including "Annie Hall" and "Zelig," said of the new partnership, "I don't know how I got into this."
"I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin," Mr. Allen said. "My guess is that Roy Price will regret this."
~ Bloomberg News ~