Amazon spent $US80 million to lure filmmaker Woody Allen into creating his first TV series for their TV studio, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
Sources told the outlet that Amazon Studios head Roy Price and lieutenant Joe Lewis “doled out” that staggering figure to convince Allen to create his six-part, 2016 show “Crisis in Six Scenes.”
Set in 1960s suburbia, the comedy series starred Miley Cyrus and Allen, and was critically panned. It received an 18% “Rotten” rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
At the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, as he was still producing the show, Allen called the series “a catastrophic mistake.”
Amazon also reportedly spent around $US20 million for the rights and production costs of Allen’s 2016 film “Café Society,” which starred Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, and Kristen Stewart.
Amazon Studios has been known to shell out large figures for original TV programming. The company reportedly paid $US250 million for the Jeremy Clarkson travel series “The Grand Tour” in 2016 (though that figure may be for multiple seasons). And for context, Netflix’s most expensive series, “The Crown,” reportedly cost over $US130 million to make.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos currently has the studio in the midst of a strategy overhaul.
With its video spending for 2017 clocking in at an estimated $US4.5 billion (per JPMorgan), Amazon Studios has now shifted its focus to pursuing a “Game of Thrones”-like drama hit, according to Variety. The company has also recently canceled shows like “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and “The Last Tycoon” as a result of this shift.
“We’ve been looking at the data for some time, and as a team we’re increasingly focused on the impact of the biggest shows,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price told Variety. “It’s pretty evident that it takes big shows to move the needle.”
Woody Allen’s show was definitely not that.
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