First original Xbox shows launching in 2014, Microsoft hires AMC exec

Xbox Entertainment Studios president says company is hoping to "put something up" early next year; company reportedly hires Breaking Bad network development director.

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The first original Xbox entertainment video programs are expected to launch in early 2014, Xbox Entertainment Studios president Nancy Tellem said recently during a Variety media event.

"We're hoping we will be able to put something up in the first quarter, at minimum second quarter," Tellem said. She did not specify which programs will launch during that window.

These programs will launch on Xbox consoles including the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This is no small market, as Microsoft has sold more than 80 million Xbox 360s and 2 million Xbox One consoles so far.

Tellem, a former CBS TV executive, joined Microsoft in 2012 to head up Xbox Entertainment Studios.

The only Xbox One TV programming announced thus far is the Halo show produced by Saving Private Ryan director Steven Spielberg and the upcoming Quantum Break show that will tie in to the game. Microsoft is also reportedly working on a World Cup-themed show called Every Street United.

"I'm incredibly ambitious and impatient,” Tellem added, explaining that development on original programming has been "slower" than what she had hoped for. Despite that, “reflecting on what we've done and what lies ahead, it’s been pretty good,” she said.

Tellem also said that it has been a challenge to get Hollywood executives on board for new projects because it's not immediately clear where Xbox fits in the constantly evolving digital delivery video marketplace.

“We aren't Netflix, we aren't Amazon, we’re a different animal,” Tellem said. “We’re neither or we’re a little like them. It all depends. The lack of black and white and this is the template and this is what we’re following is very difficult. As we continue to do deals everyone’s going to get more comfortable.”

Separately, Variety also reports that Microsoft has hired Ari Mark, director of development for original unscripted programming at Breaking Bad network AMC. Mark will reportedly help Xbox Entertainment Studios develop new and original programming, though his move to Microsoft has yet to be officially confirmed.

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