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Woody Allen to produce Amazon TV series

Woody Allen at NoMi restaurant at the Park

Woody Allen at NoMi restaurant at the Park Hyatt in Chicago on July 20, 2014. Credit: MCT / Jose M. Osorio

Woody Allen will write and direct his first TV series for Amazon Prime, both the famously reclusive Allen and Internet giant announced Tuesday.

Details were sparse, but Amazon did say the half-hour series, which received a full-season order, will arrive in 2016. That's an understandable departure from Amazon's usual model, of asking Prime users to vote for their favorite pilots to determine which ones will go to series. Amazon has been making a big push into original production; its series "Transparent," won a Golden Globe Sunday for best TV comedy or musical, and its star, Jeffrey Tambor, won for lead actor in a TV comedy.

Even Allen -- puckishly, one can reasonably assume -- indicated that he, too, has yet to figure out what the show will be: "I don't know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this," he said in a statement.

Price, the vice president of Amazon Studios, said in a statement, "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."

Allen, 79, -- who wrote the oft-quoted line from his 1992 film "Husbands and Wives" that "life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television" -- has sporadically worked TV projects over the last thirty years, most recently in 1994 when he adapted his play, "Don't Drink the Water," starring Michael J. Fox, for TV.

He began his career in television, writing for Sid Caesar, among others. He made numerous appearances on late-night talk shows and variety shows as a stand-up comic in the 1960s before his film career took off.

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