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'Powers' TV series will lead original programming push for PlayStation

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Sony's PlayStation division is joining Microsoft's Xbox branch in the original programming space with a television series based on Powers, the graphic novel series published by Marvel's Icon Comics, report the Wall Street Journal and Deadline.

Sony Pictures Television will produce the show along with Circle of Confusion. The companies were originally making Powers for the FX Network; a pilot episode was shot in 2011, but that same year, FX decided to scrap it and retool the project. The new Powers will be an hourlong drama series written by Charlie Huston with an initial order of "around 10 episodes," according to Deadline.

The graphic novel Powers, which debuted in April 2000, is written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, both of whom will serve as executive producers on the TV show. Powers takes place in Chicago and centers on two detectives who investigate cases involving "powers," people who have superpowers. The TV series is said to combine elements of genres such as police procedural and crime noir.

"It overlays extremely well with the demographics of the PlayStation," said Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to the Wall Street Journal.

"It overlays extremely well with the demographics of the PlayStation"

Powers is the first step in Sony's move into original programming for PlayStation platforms. In the U.S., the series will be streamed exclusively through the PlayStation Network, perhaps through Video Unlimited, the company's streaming video service for TV and movies. Sony also sells movies and episodes of TV shows on an à la carte basis in the PlayStation Video Store. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony's original content will be streamed separately from its upcoming cloud-based platform for live TV and video on demand, which the company announced during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show this past January.

"It's about having a broad range of broadcast content to replicate the live TV experience," Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, told the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft has been working on original content for the Xbox brand for some time at Los Angeles-based Xbox Entertainment Studios division, which was established in February 2013 and is led by former CBS executive Nancy Tellen. The company is working on a live-action Halo series and a series of documentaries.

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