As Amazon.com has grown its Prime Instant Video originals department, the formula has pretty much been the same: Have a development team create a pilot for a show, showcase that pilot on the streaming service, and have audience members vote for which one they’d like to keep. The formula resulted in several unique series, including the Golden Globe-winning “Transparent,” which garnered awards for best TV series and best actor.
Woody Allen breaks the mold. However, the rulebook goes out the window when it comes to Woody Allen. The filmmaker has signed to write and direct his first television series for Amazon. The half-hour series, which has yet to be identified by a name or concept, will be the first-ever Prime Instant Video series that will circumvent the election process.
The process – which includes viewership numbers, comments and shares with friends – resulted in five series for the streaming service. But with Allen’s new series, Amazon will come closer to Netflix’s approach for developing original series – produce and advertise to the masses without any public input. Amazon first entered television production in 2010, and a new slate of pilots was released in early 2015 to go through the typical process. Past pilot seasons have produced “Alpha House” (starring John Goodman), “Betas” and “Annedroids,” a children’s show. “Mozart in the Jungle” from Roman Coppola was also produced through the pilot process.
“We are happy with our process in general, but our top priority is to create the best shows for customers and we can be flexible as opportunities arise,” said Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studio.
More specifics of the Woody Allen deal. The deal with Allen will have the filmmaker back in his early role as a writer. His TV credits include “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Tonight Show,” but this will be his first series created for television.