You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jordan Levin in Talks to Join Xbox Entertainment Studios

Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed.

Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s president in 2012.

In his new role at the Santa Monica, Calif.-based studio, Levin would work closely with Tellem to oversee the types of original programming that Microsoft would produce for its Xbox Live platform, available through its Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles and mobile devices. Service has over 50 million subscribers worldwide.

So far, projects that have been announced include a series based on Xbox’s hit “Halo” franchise that Steven Spielberg will produce, as well as reality or documentary fare like the Mandalay Sports Media-produced soccer series “Every Street United;” a project from Lightbox filmmakers Simon Chinn (“Man on a Wire”) and Jonathan Chinn (“American High”); and “Street Dreams,” a half-hour series loosely based on the life of hip hop artist Nas.

Levin, who is also chairman of the board at NATPE, has been considering other options since youth-skewing entertainment companies Alloy Digital and Break Media merged last year to form Defy Media, sources say. Alloy acquired Levin’s TV and digital management and production shingle Generate in 2012, but the exec didn’t have a key leadership role at Defy, and wasn’t looking to return to a traditional executive role at another TV network or studio.

While at Generate, Levin already had been experimenting with online content, working with brands and Hollywood’s creative community to tell new kinds of stories on digital platforms. Generate produced AMC’s web series tied to “The Walking Dead.”

As more audiences gravitate toward online entertainment, Levin has said that he believes companies can only make money through subscription-based business models — something Netflix is proving with its original series like “House of Cards.” Microsoft charges around $60 a year for access to Xbox Live.

Microsoft could use an experienced TV executive. While Tellem is well respected, the exec has been slow to greenlight her first slate of series. Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for any of its shows.

Tellem, however, has built up an impressive roster of executives that report to her. They include former AMC exec Ari Mark, who heads unscripted programming; Jada Miranda and Lydia Antonini as senior VPs of creative; former Mandeville Films production and development exec Albert Page as VP of creative; Michele DiLorenzo as senior VP of strategy and business development; and Fourth Wall Studios-founder Elan Lee as its chief design officer.

More Biz

  • Al Franken

    Former Female 'Saturday Night Live' Staffers Issue Statement of Support for Al Franken

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Female-Led Investor Groups Target Weinstein Co. Acquisition

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • Randall Stephenson

    AT&T Begins PR Battle Against Justice Department From CNN News Room

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • AT&T

    Writers Guild of America West Backs Blocking AT&T-Time Warner Merger

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • Time Warner

    Justice Department Sues to Block AT&T-Time Warner Merger

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • Get Out

    'Get Out,' 'Detroit,' Issa Rae, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige Among Top NAACP Image Award Nominees

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

  • Al Franken Kathy Griffin

    Al Franken Cut From PBS' David Letterman Special

    Jordan Levin, who helped launch the WB network nearly two decades ago, is ready to help launch Microsoft’s first foray into original programming, Variety has confirmed. Levin is in final talks to join Xbox Entertainment Studios as executive VP and second in command under former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, who joined Microsoft as the division’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content