Microsoft has long-teased a Halo-branded drama series produced by Xbox Entertainment Studios in conjunction with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV. But it now looks like that show could also premiere on Showtime Networks rather than just the Xbox One console, it's claimed.
Variety has reported that Xbox Studios is "deep in negotiations with Showtime" to develop the live-action Halo series. Microsoft has said it wants to produce a spin-off show based on its video-game franchise with Steven Spielberg, and that the show will be designed to air on the Xbox One. A new deal with Showtime Networks however, which has reportedly been in the woks for quite some time, means the show could broadcast both on Showtime and the Xbox One.
It's not clear why Microsoft would actively try to share its own Xbox original content exclusive with Showtime, as it means the show - one of Microsoft's most anticipated - could lose some of its lure. That said, the deal would allow the show to still broadcast on Xbox One, but it hasn't been revealed how long the window would be between Showtime and Xbox One's premiere airtimes.
Variety also claimed Microsoft will add an enhanced interactive layer to the Halo series when it finally premieres on Xbox One. If that's the case, the show might initially reach a wide audience via Showtime, and then the added interactivity features could encourage Showtime viewers to re-watch or engage with the show via the Xbox One platform. Although that's an interesting strategy, Microsoft still risks loses viewers on its own platform.
Keep in mind Spielberg's series isn't the only Halo-branded content in development at Xbox Studios. Microsoft announced last week that Ridley Scott would serve as an executive producer on a new digital feature thought to be a film. Details on the forthcoming Halo project, as well as Spielberg's series, are limited at this time, but the first Xbox Original programmes are expect to launch in June.