Having zero experience in original TV programming isn’t stopping the world’s largest software maker from having at least six original series in production and more than a dozen projects in development for its new Xbox television studio, according to a new report.
Set to begin rolling out globally in June, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft (MSFT) will be adding interactive elements to each of its shows in order to make use of Xbox technology and get an edge on rivals incluing Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and Amazon.com (AMZN).
Among the big Hollywood names who have signed up for at least one series include Sarah Silverman and Seth Green, the report said.
Microsoft has hired former CBS executive Nancy Tellem, who was also part of the team that debuted “Friends” and “ER,” to head up its new TV studio, which will produce shows to be watched on the firm’s Xbox games console as well as its mobile devices.
Tellem’s first offerings in development includes a “Halo” series from Stephen Spielberg ; a street football reality show called “Every Street United”, which is timed for the World Cup – as well as a robot thriller called “Humans,” an hour-long, eight-episode drama series that will debut in 2015.
Tellem, who Microsoft hired 19 months ago to run the operation, acknowledged to Bloomberg that the task will not be easy. “There’s a huge failure rate. You have to get up to the plate a lot. Hopefully we can have a higher batting average than most, but it’s a long process,” she said.
By getting into producing original TV shows, the software giant is positioning the Xbox console as not just for gaming but as a hub of living room entertainment. Whether they will manage to succeed in achieving the ambitious goal remains to be seen.