PlayStation Network's first original show 'Powers' up on 10 March

Sharlto Copley and Eddie Izzard square off in Sony's comic-based superhero/cop show mashup.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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"District 9" star Sharlto Copley is Detective Christian Walker in "Powers". Sony

Power up your PlayStation for the first PSN-produced TV show. Sony-backed cops'n'superheroes show "Powers" begins on 10 March.

"Powers" is the first original scripted show produced for the PlayStation Network. It features "District 9" prawn star Sharlto Copley and relative newcomer Susan Heyward as detectives investigating crimes related to superpowered perps, with Eddie Izzard as the baddie and "Star Trek" veteran Michelle Forbes as superhero Retro Girl.

The show is based on the comic book by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming. Beginning in 2000, the book sparked talk of a live action adaptation almost immediately; it was optioned as a possible movie by Sony in 2001 and a TV pilot was previously made for FX in 2011 starring Jason Patric and Lucy Punch.

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Bendis is also a producer on the PSN series, and announced the release date in a blog post. He revealed that anyone can watch the first episode of "Powers" at PlayStation.com/Powers, but you'll have to sign up and start paying for a PlayStation Plus subscription to watch the remainder of the 10-episode series. Three installments will be made available together on 10 March. After that a new installment will be live every Tuesday.

Original content from online services appears to be the new frontier of television. Netflix kicked things off with the Kevin Spacey and David Fincher collaboration "House of Cards", leading to "Orange is the New Black" and more, including a hotly anticipated and highly ambitious slate of shows based on Marvel superheroes "="" in="" april"="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="1d2c0bec-2552-4986-88d3-5e8133a55f97" slug="daredevil-is-the-man-without-fear-of-binge-watching-netflix-on-10-april" link-text="starting with " section="news" title="'Daredevil' is the man without fear of binge-watching Netflix on 10 April" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key"> .

Meanwhile, streaming rival Amazon Instant Video has tried out a bunch of publicly voted pilots, and recently scored its first big victory with the Golden Globe-winning "Transparent". Both Netflix and Amazon have also announced plans to produce new movies as well as TV shows.

Original content is such an important way of recruiting viewers to online services that Microsoft and Sony both planned their own content to position their Xbox and PlayStation consoles at the heart of your living room. But although Microsoft mined its gaming back catalogue for the " Halo: Nightfall" series, Microsoft ended up ditching its original content studio. Meanwhile, Sony hasn't confirmed which original programming, if any, will follow "Powers".

For more game-related excitement, check out our button-bashing buddies at GameSpot.

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