The lights are on
Microsoft doesn't seem to be messing around with its television efforts. The company's TV studio is working on six programs, including the previously announced adaptation of the Swedish robot thriller Humans, and new comedy from Sarah Silverman and Seth Green.
Microsoft is producing a sketch-comedy show with Sarah Silverman's JASH group and is also working with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the creators of Robot Chicken. Nancy Tellem, Microsoft's president of entertainment and former president of CBS Television, is pushing to add interactive elements to its programming. For example, if you tune into the upcoming soccer-based reality show Every Street United, you can unlock additional scenes and play minigames. Other programs in the works include a game-themed documentary series, a live broadcast from the Bonnaroo music festival, and a reality show that follows a shark-attack victim.
“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 told Bloomberg. “We’re focused on what we feel our audience on our platform wants.”
Our TakePhil Spencer, newly appointed head of Xbox, says that the Xbox brand is about games first, but the company clearly thinks there's room for television. Netflix's House of Cards certainly showed that there's an audience for direct-to-streaming content. Will a show about robots hit that same quality benchmark? The quality of the programming has to come first; I wouldn't count on minigames to make up for a lack of quality.
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