At E3 2013, Microsoft announced a new plan for increased multimedia exposure that included better TV integration for their upcoming Xbox One as well as original content developed in-house. They wouldn’t say too much about those original TV series at the time, but Microsoft did tease one of their biggest priorities: a live-action Halo TV series produced by Steven Spielberg.
Now, with almost a year having passed since that unveiling, it appears the Halo TV series is progressing along nicely, and just recently word of a potential partnership with Showtime has surrounded the show.
While the deal between Xbox Entertainment Studios and Showtime has yet to go final, sources report the two sides are deep in negotiations. Apparently the deal is taking longer than normal because both sides are trying to work out the logistics of such an unprecedented partnership. Never before has a TV series been developed by a video game studio and a premium cable network.
Variety claims that, if the deal goes final, episodes of the Halo TV series will air first on Showtime and then on Xbox Live. While it’s unclear how much later the Xbox airing of the show will be, it is said to include some interactive elements, likely through a second screen app like Microsoft’s SmartGlass.
First things first, though, the deal does need to go final, and shortly after that Microsoft is expected to announce a duo of showrunners for the Halo show. Even if the deal goes through soon, though, chances are Microsoft won’t make anything official until E3 2014.
Although Xbox Entertainment Studios reportedly has a full slate of TV projects in various stages of development, their Halo TV series will undoubtedly generate the most attention. And with this partnership with Showtime, Microsoft has the potential of boosting the show’s profile beyond just gamers, or even Xbox owners.
More importantly, with a premium channel like Showtime behind it, the Halo TV series has a better chance of delivering on the expectations that hopeful fans have for it. It’s one thing to put out a a highly polished web series, like the Forward Unto Dawn mini-series, and another to deliver a full season of episodic television.
Does this potential Showtime deal change your enthusiasm for the Halo TV series? What is your vision for the series as far as an ongoing storyline goes?
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