Hollywood veteran set to make shows for Xbox 360

Microsoft is continuing its effort to make the Xbox the STB of choice for younger IPTVers, cutting a deal with Hollywood veteran Peter Safran to produce original content targeted at 14- to 34-year-old males for distribution on the system, the New York Times reported yesterday. Safran said the initial 10-minute or less shows will be scripted, rather than reality tv shows and focus on genres like comedy and horror. Safran's company represents actor and producer Sean Combs ("Monster's Ball"), actor and writer Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") and filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer ("Epic Movie"). The episodes should hit in the fall.
 
Although most recognized for its gamer audience--Halo and Call of Duty 4 are massive hits on the Xbox--some 10 million people have signed up for the Xbox Live service. Microsoft says the deal with Safran is the first of many to come. Current programming on the Xbox 360 includes movies and selections from cable networks like the Sundance Channel and Spike TV. Viewers pay for access to films with points that can be purchased for cash or accumulated through activities on the system.
 
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Read the New York Times story (Reg. Req.)

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