A Woody Allen TV Show? What It Means

Big things for streaming TV—and likely controversy: James Poniewozik
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2015 1:15 PM CST
A Woody Allen TV Show? What It Means
In this July 14, 2011, file photo, filmmaker Woody Allen is shown on set.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)

(Newser) – Woody Allen is set to write and direct a TV series on Amazon Prime, and the news has big ramifications for the filmmaker, the company, and the TV industry, writes James Poniewozik in Time. First of all, the legendary director's willingness to make a TV show proves that "the stigma of 'slumming' in TV is pretty much gone." The form is no longer considered to be below the likes of Steven Soderbergh (The Knick), David Fincher (House of Cards)—and now Allen. More specifically, streaming TV is gaining artistic "prestige," Poniewozik notes. "Signing a streaming deal may be the new signing a premium-cable deal."

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Then there's the issue of controversy: The project is sure to be a "lightning rod" after last year saw allegations resurface that Allen molested his daughter. Rape allegations against Bill Cosby killed plans for his own new show. "Maybe Amazon feels that Allen's circumstances are different, or that the blowback will be worth taking," Poniewozik writes. "But it's hard to imagine there won’t be blowback ... there are legions who will view this deal as rewarding a predator." The likely furor itself, however, would be another indicator of the new power of streaming TV; by contrast, little was said when Allen's latest film, Magic in the Moonlight, hit theaters. Click for the full piece. (Read more Woody Allen stories.)

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