Xbox could be the next major contender on the digital streaming content landscape. The company announced its first original content lineup, which includes everything from scripted dramas, unscripted comedy series and docu-series to a live stream of Bonnaroo music festival.
Xbox: Xbox Originals will start debuting in June 2014, the company announced
. The content will only be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and other Microsoft devices. Here is a rundown of the content Microsoft has committed to:
The “Halo” television series
is a based on the award-winning “Halo” franchise. Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television.
The show comes along years after a “Halo” movie tried and failed to get off the ground.
‘Every Street United’
“Every Street United” is an unscripted series featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer’s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates in July in a 4-on-4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
Each episode will feature stories about the grassroots street stars and the communities that shaped them. Jonathan Hock (“Streetball,” “30 for 30: The Best That Never Was”) is directing the series. Emmy-Award winning producer Mike Tollin (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) and Mandalay Sports Media are executive producing. Professional soccer luminaries Henry and Davids, will serve as coaches for the street game in Rio. “Every Street United” will premiere in June 2014.
Xbox owners around the globe can watch the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, in partnership with Superfly Presents. With the Bonnaroo app, fans can enjoy live music like never before, with a virtual experience featuring the best performances, multiple stages, biggest artists and amazing SuperJams, and explore this year’s lineup to see the best of Bonnaroo’s past with exclusive performances. Fans can also join the conversation with fellow virtual-Bonnaroovians and get connected to their friends and the festival. Xbox is the exclusive broadcasting partner for Bonnaroo and the only location to get all of the interactive features.
‘Signal to Noise’/’Atari: Game Over’
Xbox is creating a new six-film documentary series, “Signal to Noise” (working title), with Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”). The series will expose little-known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.
The first installment, “Atari: Game Over” (working title), explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to its “E.T.” video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, N.M. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way. “Atari: Game Over” is directed by writer/director Zak Penn (“X-Men 2,” “Avengers,” and “Incident at Loch Ness”). It will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.
“Humans” is a co-production with UK broadcaster Channel 4. The eight-episode series will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the U.K. in 2015.
Executive produced by Jane Featherstone (“Life on Mars,” “Broadchurch”) and Derek Wax (“The Hour,” “Sex Traffic”), and written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“MI-5”), “Humans” is an English-language adaptation of the Swedish series “Real Humans.” “Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a “Synth” — a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences. Casting for “Humans” will begin in May 2014, and production will commence later this summer.
‘Halo’ digital feature
343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a “Halo” digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV president David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Pillars of the Earth,” “Heroes”) will direct.
Here are the projects Xbox still has in development:
Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. “Deadlands” is an alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies and more.
“Robot Chicken” creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich are developing a hybrid live-action/stop-motion show with fellow “RC” veterans Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV
“Fearless” is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place.
Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to “Gun Machine,” a hardboiled detective thriller based on the novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (“The Killing,” “Sons of Anarchy”), who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders.
Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour
JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts) will bring together some of the biggest names in comedy and the people who make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode, and Daniel Kellison (“Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June.
A limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino’s seminal graphic novel series “Winterworld,” in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter.