Xbox original TV programming to debut in June

Microsoft reveals multiple shows in production, all featuring interactive components

Microsoft has further outlined its plans for original TV programming on Xbox One and Xbox 360, with its first show set to debut in June.

The launch of street football reality show 'Every Street United' is being timed to coincide with the World Cup.


LA-based Xbox Entertainment Studios is heading up Microsoft's original TV production and has over a dozen projects in development, Bloomberg reports.

They include a comedy sketch show with Sarah Silverman, another with Michael Cera's JASH comedy collective, and a stop-motion show with Seth Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. A live broadcast of July's Bonnaroo music festival is also planned.

On Monday, UK TV station Channel 4 and Xbox Entertainment Studios announced a co-production deal for a thriller series called 'Humans', which focuses on humanoid robot workers. Based on the Swedish sci-fi drama 'Real Humans', it will share a 2015 broadcast window on both Channel 4 in the UK and Xbox in North America.

Xbox Entertainment Studios boss Nancy Tellem (pictured) said shows will be aimed at Xbox's core demographic, typically males between 18 to 34 years old, and that Microsoft is only approving productions that can be combined with interactive components that encourage users to engage across consoles and mobile devices.

For Every Street United, users will be able to play mini-games and unlock extra scenes, while Humans will enable watchers to follow characters outside of the show's plot.

"We aren't trying to find something that's going to be accepted by the largest common denominator, which is what a lot of people in the business look for," she said. "We're focused on what we feel our audience on our platform wants."

Some of the productions, including Every Street United, will be offered for free on Xbox One and Xbox 360. Tellem said the business model for other shows is still under consideration.

Phil Spencer, who was recently promoted to head of Xbox said "TV, as the highest-reach form of entertainment you can find, is a critical part" of attracting customers to Microsoft.

Sony is also working on original TV productions for PlayStation Network users. Its first show will be based on 'Powers', a comic series created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oemin. The source material follows homicide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who are tasked with dealing with cases involving people with superhuman or supernatural abilities.


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