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Xbox originals slate unveiled

Microsoft has unveiled more original programming for its games console as its production arm Xbox Entertainment Studios gears up to release its debut slate this summer.

The Xbox Originals line-up, which includes the previously announced Halo television series to be produced by Steven Spielberg, covers dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation and unscripted shows.

Projects in development at Xbox Entertainment Studios include Winterworld, which is being co-developed with IDW Entertainment and is a “limited event” live-action series based on the graphic novel series of the same name.

Winterworld takes place in an apocalyptic future where the Earth has been encased in ice from pole to pole.

Also on the slate is an as-yet untitled comedy developed with North American comedy collective JASH, founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric, and Reggie Watts.

These recent announcements represent Microsoft’s latest push to make the Xbox the all-in-one entertainment device of choice amongst consumers in the face of competition from the likes of Apple and Google.

“Microsoft has a long and rich legacy in the content business,” said Jordan Levin, exec VP of Xbox Entertainment Studios. “Games have been part of our DNA for at least the last 15 years, and creating original TV content is a logical next step in our evolution.”

Elsewhere, Xbox is developing Deadlands, based on the role-playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley; stop-motion toon Extraordinary Believers, from the creators of Robot Chicken; unscripted series Fearless; and Gun Machine, a detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis.

These join series set to debut in June and later this year, such as Every Street United, an unscripted 8×30′ series feature legendary football players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids; and Signal to Noise/Atari: Game Over, a six-part documentary series about modern technology.

As reported earlier this month, the eight-part drama Humans, a remake of a Swedish sci-fi show, will air on both the Xbox and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.

“We are developing premium original content for the Xbox community, which is an audience we are incredibly respectful of,” said Nancy Tellem, president of Xbox Entertainment Studios.

“I know full well from my years spent at traditional TV networks that creating a line-up of hit shows isn’t easy. It’s the beginning of a long journey, but we’re incredibly excited to be on our way.”


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