The streaming service revealed the title of the Allen series — which stars the legendary auteur, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May — on Sunday at the start of its portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton.
Amazon’s plan is bold step to barrel into the early fall premiere territory that has traditionally been reserved for the broadcast networks. Joe Lewis, Amazon’s head of half-hour programming, said the plan was to launch four series in a row to make September “comedy month” on Amazon. “One Mississippi” will kick off the run with six episodes bowing on Sept. 9.
“Fleabag,” created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is set to premiere on Sept. 16. Amazon content chief Roy Price gave the British star a plug in his opening remarks. The third season of “Transparent” drops on Sept. 23, followed by “Crisis in Six Scenes” on Sept. 30.
Lewis billed the September slate as Amazon’s “riskiest, most artistic and funniest slate ever.”
Notaro, the veteran standup comedian, commanded the room in discussing the development of her autobiographical “One Mississippi.” The six episodes cover a four-month period when “my mother died, I had cancer, I had an intestinal disease, I went through a breakup, I had pneumonia — the list goes on,” she said.
Exec producers Kate Robin and Nicole Holofcener emphasized the importance of the Mississippi setting to grounding the show. The show was described as a “traumedy” and a “comedio-tragic” piece that blends all of Notaro’s experiences growing up in Mississippi and Texas, but does not hammer any one theme.
“It’s a very specific place,” Robin said. “It’s deep South. (But) there’s nothing about the show that’s a cliché, it’s all very true to life. There’s no broad stroke. It’s not ‘the South,’ it’s not ‘lesbianism.’ It’s not a stylized tone. It’s very real.”
Notaro noted that it is also a rare example of a show that happens to feature a lead lesbian character but is not defined by her LGBT status.
“I think it could be expected, taking place in Mississippi, that the topic of being gay and coming out and conflict with family members would be an easy place to go, but that’s not the issue in my life, so that’s been an exciting element, to present my life as it is in that manner,” she said. “No one flinches if I have a girlfriend or three. I didn’t think about it when I was thinking about the show or pitching it.”
“One Mississippi” co-star Noah Harpster added that Notaro’s familiarity with the Magnolia state added to the richness of the world. “So much of shooting was Tig curating the moment and making sure it felt right,” whether it was the clothes for characters or turns of phrase.
Holofcener was recruited after the development process to direct the pilot. She has dabbled in TV development and helming episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Sex and the City,” but is best known for indie pics including 2010’s “Please Give” and 2013’s “Enough Said.”
“I felt so blessed to be handed this script and Tig,” Holofcener said. “I don’t have my own television show and I will probably continue with movies, but doing something like this is really rewarding. If I can come in and work with someone I admire and enjoy working with, it’s gratifying.”
(Pictured: “One Mississippi”)