Microsoft reveals more original TV shows for Xbox owners

The lineup of Xbox Originals includes six already committed shows and six more currently in development.

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The Xbox Originals series "Humans" is an English version of a Swedish series about robotic servants. SVT and Matador Films

Microsoft aims to serve up a total of 12 original series so far for its Xbox audience.

In a blog posted Monday, Microsoft revealed further details on its upcoming slate of Xbox Originals due to "air" starting in June. Available to users of the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices, the shows promise to sneak in various interactive elements so you're not just playing couch potato.

The six committed projects include a Halo series produced by Steven Spielberg, a Halo digital feature produced by Ridley Scott and slated for release later this year, an unscripted series in search of talented soccer players called "Every Street United," and live concert coverage of the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in June.

Two other series on the schedule are "Signal to Noise," a six-episode documentary series about the impact of modern technology on our world, and "Humans," an English version of the Swedish series "Real Humans" about robotic servants.

Series in development phase include an off-beat Western about undead gunfighters, sorcerers, and mad scientists called "Deadlands," a hybrid stop-motion show called "Extraordinary Believers" produced by Seth Green and other folks behind "Robot Chicken," and "Fearless," another unscripted series.

The other three shows on the development agenda are a detective thriller called "Gun Machine," a live-action series about humans trying to survive in an ice-encrusted world called "Winterworld," and an as-yet-untitled comedy variety show from Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera.

"I know full well from my years spent at traditional TV networks that creating a lineup of hit shows isn't easy," Nancy Tellem, president of Xbox Entertainment Studios, said in a statement. "It's the beginning of a long journey, but we're incredibly excited to be on our way."

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, AOL, and other online providers have all increasingly been ramping up their own original shows. So Microsoft is entering an already crowded playing field. But will the appeal of interactive entertainment give Microsoft an edge? We'll see when the first Xbox Originals debut in June.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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