Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Amazon signs Woody Allen to create TV series

In a nod to video streaming, Oscar-winning filmmaker will write and direct all episodes of the Amazon Studios series

Amazon Studios has signed up Oscar-winning filmmaker Woody Allen to create his first-ever TV series as the medium continue to migrate away from traditional broadcast, the company announced Tuesday.

Allen's signing adds another coat of luster to Amazon Studios, a recent entrant in the world of streaming video that many see as 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 will write and direct all of the new series’ half-hour episodes, and a full season has been ordered by Amazon's Prime Instant Video, the company said. The series is expected to premiere in 2016 and will be available in the United Kingdom and Germany as well as the United States.

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 has spanned 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 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.

The Associated Press

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