After more than four decades of making films, Woody Allen is coming to television — streaming television.
Amazon announced on Tuesday that it had signed Mr. Allen to write and direct his first television series. The company said it had ordered a full season of half-hour shows, as yet untitled, which will make their debut on the service next year. It provided few other details.
“I don’t know how I got into this,” Mr. Allen, 79, said in a statement. “I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin.”
The series, like other Amazon original TV productions, will be available exclusively on the company’s Prime Instant Video service in the United States, Britain and Germany. The service costs $99 for an annual membership and includes free two-day shipping of certain Amazon products, and is a way for the company to tie its entertainment offerings to its huge retail operation.
Recruiting Mr. Allen signals Amazon’s goal to continue to push the envelope as it expands its creative ambitions. Just this Sunday, Amazon’s original series “Transparent,” a dark comedy about a family in which the father comes out as transgender, won a Golden Globe for best television comedy. (It was the first time a streaming service had won a best-series in the TV category at the Globes.)
The deal with Mr. Allen also raises the stakes in the heated competition among digital companies and traditional networks. Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are pouring resources into creating original streaming series. HBO, the premium pay channel, also has joined the fray, saying it would offer a stand-alone streaming service this year.
Roy Price, vice president for Amazon Studios, said that the company was thrilled to work with Mr. Allen, whom he described in a statement as having created some of the best movies ever. He said that the project came together after a couple of meetings with Mr. Allen in New York.
“I had always thought Woody Allen’s characters and comedy would translate beautifully to TV, particularly now with more serialized story lines and openness to nuanced characterization,” Mr. Price said in an email.
In his statement, Mr. Allen said, “My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”
Some Hollywood executives said that Mr. Allen was not known to be widely pitching a series. He did not pitch one to Netflix or Hulu, said people with knowledge of the situation.
艾伦是个极有争议的人物，这次合作可能会给亚马逊带来风险。去年2月，艾伦的养女迪兰·法罗(Dylan Farrow)在一封公开信中指责他在她年幼时对她进行性侵犯，艾伦因此遭到严格审查。艾伦否认了性侵指控。法罗第一次指控艾伦性侵犯她是在20世纪90年代，艾伦与她的养母米娅·法罗(Mia Farrow)争夺抚养权期间。艾伦从未因刑事犯罪行为遭到指控。
Mr. Allen is a polarizing figure, and the association could carry risks for Amazon. He came under heavy scrutiny in February when his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, wrote an open letter accusing him of sexually molesting her as a child. Mr. Allen has denied the abuse claims, first raised in the 1990s during a custody battle with Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow. He was never charged with criminal wrongdoing.
虽然迪伦·法罗在信中质疑有哪位演员真正愿意和艾伦合作，但他仍是电影界的泰斗。在他的事业生涯中，几乎每年都会拍一部电影，他的下一部作品很可能会在今年夏天上映。这部电影尚未命名，艾玛·斯通(Emma Stone)和杰昆·菲尼克斯(Joaquin Phoenix)在片中饰演一对情侣。
Though Dylan Farrow, in her letter, challenged actors to examine their willingness to work with Mr. Allen, he has remained a fixture in the film industry. Over his career he has turned out movies at a rate of about one a year, and his next work — untitled and starring Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix as lovers — will probably be released this summer.
相比之下，在多名女性指控比尔·科斯比(Bill Cosby)几十年前迷奸她们之后，其他几个媒体集团取消了他的多个项目。NBC频道和Netflix公司取消了科斯比的多个节目，TV Land频道停止了《科斯比秀》(The Cosby Show)的重播。科斯比否认了这些指控。
In contrast, several other media groups dropped projects with Bill Cosby after a wave of accusations by women who said that he drugged and raped them decades ago. NBC and Netflix canceled Cosby projects and TV Land stopped reruns of “The Cosby Show.” Mr. Cosby has denied the accusations.
“亚马逊有自己的套路；他们知道哪些节目受欢迎，”Pivotal Research的媒体分析师布赖恩·维泽尔(Brian Wieser)说，“他们可能估算过，如何在吸引一部分观众的同时，不冒犯另外一些观众。”
“Amazon has a formula; they know what sells,” said Brian Wieser, a media analyst with Pivotal Research. “Presumably they are making a calculation in terms of not offending some of their customers while concurrently appealing to others.”
The news also represents a substantial shift in Amazon’s strategy. When the company created its studio group about five years ago, it tried a tech-driven online submission process rather than recruiting well-known directors, writers and actors. TV pilots were posted online and the company decided whether to go forward with projects based on viewer feedback. Mr. Allen’s project is Amazon’s first straight-to-series deal, meaning that it has ordered a full series and the project will not go through its pilot process.
宏桥信托投资集团研究所(BTIG Research)的媒体分析师里奇·格林菲尔德(Rich Greenfield)说，亚马逊、Netflix和Hulu这样的流媒体公司在人才上投资更多，传统电视网将遇到更大压力。
Rich Greenfield, a media analyst with BTIG Research, said that as streaming services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu invest more in talent, traditional television networks will come under increased pressure.
“一旦你一口气看完十集《女子监狱》(Orange Is the New Black)和《透明家庭》，”他说，“你就很难再回去看电视，电视有难熬的20分钟广告，有时因节目停播可能要等好几星期。”
“Once you’ve watched ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and ‘Transparent’ and binged through 10 episodes,” he said, “it is increasingly hard to go back and watch television with 20 minutes of painful commercials and multiple weeks in between episodes because of show interruptions.”