Amazon’s push to become a serious content provider in the same vein as Netflix is really revving up. After news came in a few weeks ago that their production of the Lord of the Rings prequels would cost Jeff Bezos some $600 million off the bat, THR is now reporting that Amazon is developing a half-hour series based on Penny Marshall‘s beloved A League of Their Own, which told the story of the first attempt to make an all-female baseball league while many ballplayers were overseas during World War II.
The series will be spearheaded by Abbi Jacobson of Broad City and Will Graham, the showrunner for Amazon’s eternally undervalued Mozart in the Jungle. Their involvement alone speaks well of the direction that the series is heading and suggests that, unlike the movie, the series will put comedy before everything else. Mozart in the Jungle is a drama but much of its power is derived by naturally comedic performers like Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, and Gael Garcia Bernal. As for Jacobson, there simply may not be another female-centric comedy series on the level of Broad City with the arguable exception of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Better Things has long ago transcended the barrier between comedy and drama.
As for now, it would seem that Jacobson is not going to be in front of the screen for any of this, even though re-teaming her with her Broad City co-star, Ilana Glazer, would make for an ideal variation on Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell‘s characters in Marshall’s original movie. In fact, Jacobson and Graham, who are co-writing the pilot, are seemingly not using the same characters that were in the movie, suggesting that they will attempt to completely rethink the central relationships in the source material. For now, it’s enough to know that Amazon has picked the right people to steer this project and find the right dramatic and comedic contours of the story. Despite the difference in likely production budget, an A League of Their Own TV series is about as promising as the planned Lord of the Rings project.