Microsoft announces slate of original TV programming

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Microsoft’s joining the TV game with a slate of original shows specifically made for the Xbox.

Although Microsoft’s been in talks to get into the original video content game for a year now, the company is just now announcing its twelve shows, dubbed Xbox Originals. Ranging from unscripted comedies to game-based dramas, the shows are expected to begin airing this June.

“Microsoft has a long and rich legacy in the content business,” executive president of Xbox Entertainment Studios Jordan Levin said in a statement. “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.”

The Xbox Originals will be produced by companies outside of Microsoft and will be only available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices. But Xbox Originals aren’t just going to be TV shows — they’re going to have interactive elements, setting them apart from Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards. 

Check out what Microsoft has in store below:

COMMITTED PROJECTS

Halo TV series
Steven Spielberg is executive-producing this live-action TV series based on the Halo game franchise.

Every Street United TV series
This unscripted 8-episode series explores eight countries, ranging from Argentina to South Korea, to find talented and unknown street soccer stars, ending in a one-hour finale featuring a 4v4 street game.

Bonnaroo
In the past, you had to travel to Tennessee to experience Bonnaroo, but this summer Xbox owners will be able to see what’s going on at the music and arts festival on their very own TVs. The festival will stream live from June 13 to June 15 and will also include interactive features like switching between stages and finding friends actually at the festival.

Signal to Noise
Signal to Noise will be a six-part documentary series produced by Searching for Sugar Man and Man on Wire producer Simon Chinn and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn that looks at the ways technology has shaped our relationship with the world. Atari: Game Over is the first film in the series, and it chronicles the myth (that we now know is not a myth) that Atari buried the E.T. video game in New Mexico after it got a negative response from customers.

Humans
Based on Swedish series Real Humans, this drama follows a family and their interactions with an eerie gadget called a “Synth” that acts as a robotic servant — think Smart House, but creepier.

Halo digital feature
This feature will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan.

IN DEVELOPMENT

Deadlands
Multiple genres converge into one in Deadlands, as it combines zombies, sorcerers, and mad scientists in this “Weird West”-set show based on the game of the same name.

Extraordinary Believers
Stoopid Buddy Stoodies, the creators of Adult Swim success Robot Chicken, is involved with the creation of the stop-motion show.

Fearless
This adrenaline-filled unscripted series will follow an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver (and shark attack survivor!) as he goes around the world helping other individuals who risk their lives for the betterment of the world.

Gun Machine
Based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name by Warren Ellis, this show is being executive produced by Ellis himself and Brett Conrad of The Killing and Sons of Anarchy fame.

Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour
JASH is a comedy collective created by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric, and Reggie Watts, and this show will focus on who famous comedians look to when they need a laugh. Silverman will host the first episode.

Winterworld
This live-action series will be based on Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino’s graphic novel series Winterworld where the world, well, finds itself in an intense globe-wide winter. Those who survive the ice age form tribes that will do whatever it takes to make it through their new ice-covered world. And we thought this winter was bad!

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