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Xbox Originals lineup detailed, Gears of War & Fable TV series teased

by Andrew Yoon, shacknews.com, Apr 28, 2014 6:00AM PDT

Microsoft has a rather extensive lineup planned for its "Xbox Originals" program, including new comedies from Seth Green, Sarah Silverman, and Michael Cera, a soccer documentary series, and an exclusive livestream of the Bonnaroo music festival. At a preview event, Shacknews had a chance to see more of Microsoft's plans.

Following the Bonnaroo livestream in June is Every Street United, a nine-episode series that follows undiscovered street soccer stars, culminating in a 4v4 finale in Rio de Janeiro. Episodes will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8.

Signal to Noise follows afterwards, with the first installment having already made some noise this weekend. Atari: Game Over explores the myth of the failed E.T. video game, rumored to be buried in a New Mexican landfill. As it turns out, that happened to be true. The rest of the six documentary films will explore "how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with the world." The series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Then, a Halo "digital feature" will come this holiday season. It will be produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan of Battlestar Galactica and Heroes will direct. This is separate from the Halo television series announced at E3, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. That's still in development, but will be released at a later date.

Finally, Humans will launch on Xbox and the UK's Channel 4 in 2015. The eight-episode hour-long series tells the story of robotic servants that may share too much in common with real humans. Casting will begin in May and production will begin later this summer.

In addition to the series Xbox has committed to, the company has a number of pilots and concepts in development likely to join the Xbox Originals service. Deadlands is based on the pen-and-paper RPG created by Shane Lacy Hensley and tells an alternate history of the West with undead gunfighters, mad scientists, and sorcerers. Gun Machine is a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. It tells the story of a detective tracking a serial killer in New York. Xbox has committed to pilot scripts for both series.

Winterworld is a limited event live-action series in co-development with IDW Entertainment that's based on Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino's graphic novel series where the world has been encased in case. The Walking Dead's Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert will produce this story that follows the surviving humans.

In addition, we saw three series that actually have pilots in production. Extraordinary Believers is from Robot Chicken creators Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and combines stop-motion animation with live action. The end result is Jackass meets claymation, essentially. Fearless is a reality series that follows Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor. He'll join people with dangerous jobs, like firefighters, the Coast Guard, African hunters, and eventually come face-to-face with shark diving. Finally, comedy collective JASH is working on a variety show that highlights new talent. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode.

While these are Microsoft's concrete plans for Xbox Originals, they ended our meeting with a rather huge tease for things-to-come. A sizzle video showed off footage from Gears of War, Fable, State of Decay, Forza Motorsport, and Age of Empires with a promise that all of these Microsoft gaming IP will eventually become television shows. “The games that define us will become the stories that thrill us,” the video teased. But first, it seems Microsoft will have to get some more shows out the pipeline first.