Amazon inks first-look deal with Mozart in the Jungle EP
James R | On 14, Dec 2017
Amazon has inked a first-look deal with Will Graham, one of the Executive Producers on Mozart in the Jungle.
Based on Blair Tindall’s memoir of the same name, the comedy series about a classic orchestra was created by Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited), Paul Weitz (About a Boy) and John Strauss (There’s Something About Mary). Graham joined as an EP for the show’s third season, hot on the heels of its Golden Globe win for Best Comedy or Musical Series and has since written and directed on the show.
Graham, however, is no stranger to Amazon Studios: he was a writer on Alpha House, Amazon’s first ever original series, starring John Goodman. While that has since been swept under the rug with Amazon’s other faltering first effort, Betas, Graham’s relationship with Amazon Studios still carries some clout. He also co-created one of the pilots in Amazon Studio’s first pilot season, The Onion Presents: The News. Indeed, Graham was one of the founders of the Onion News Network and was showrunner for Onion Sports Dome on Comedy Central.
He has now formed his own company, Field Trip Productions, and has signed a first-look deal with Amazon, with former UTA agent Hailey Wierengo overseeing production and development.
“As soon as I decided that this was the right time to start a company with Amazon, I thought about Hailey as a partner,” Graham told Deadline. “She’s smart, entrepreneurial, and a great human with amazing creative taste. I couldn’t be more excited.”
“Will Graham has been a part of our Amazon family since the beginning,” commented Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “He created one of our first pilots, was a writer on our first series Alpha House and he’s done a brilliant job helping to lead Mozart in the Jungle. We’re excited to see the shows he comes up with moving ahead.”
The deal continues a trend for creator-led agreements among the major VOD players, with Netflix signing talent such as Shonda Rhimes and Amazon inking exclusive agreements with Amy Sherman-Palladino and The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman.