The gritty show, about two homicide detectives who solve murders involving superpowered criminals, is based on the comicbook of the same name, co-created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Bendis also is the “Powers” series’ executive producer.
“I’m happy to report that production has wrapped on all 10 episodes of ‘Powers,'” Bendis posted on PlayStation’s blog early Tuesday. “Under the skillful hands of our showrunners Charlie Huston and Remi Aubuchon (“Falling Skies”), our amazing directors, writers, cast and crew, the episodes are coming together beautifully.”
“Powers” represents PlayStation’s biggest foray into producing original scripted content to date, after having focused largely on videogames over the past two decades.
The first episode of “Powers” will be free for all viewers at PlayStation.com/Powers. The full 10-episode season will be free to members of PlayStation Plus, who pay $50 a year for an annual pass. Individual episodes will be sold on the PlayStation Store. New episodes will debut each Tuesday.
PlayStation’s expansion into original programming doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
As PlayStation looks to broaden the appeal of its videogame console and turn it into more of a hub for all forms of entertainment, the company, like Netflix and Amazon, is pursuing exclusive TV shows and movies as a way to attract more users and generate additional revenue.
In Sony’s case, it’s looking to use “Powers” to sell more PlayStation Plus memberships.
PlayStation Plus passes provide access to free games, multiplayer modes, PlayStation Store discounts and online storage across the PlayStation 4, PS3 and PS Vita systems.
“Powers” stars Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) and Susan Heyward (“The Following”) as lead detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, with Michelle Forbes, Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, Logan Browning and Olyesa Rulin playing heroes and villains. David Slade (“Game of Thrones”) directed the first two hourlong episodes.
Sony Pictures Television developed the show and oversaw its production, backed with a budget that’s comparable to most primetime cable series, or around $2 million per episode.
David Engel of Circle of Confusion (“The Walking Dead”); Oeming, and Michael Dinner are also executive producers on “Powers.”
Bendis has spent the past 14 years trying to get “Powers” onto a screen of any kind with Sony. In 2001, Sony thought the graphic novel had potential as a movie, but that plan didn’t get far. Ten years later, “Powers” got another shot as a TV show, with Charles S. Dutton and Lucy Punch in the lead roles, but FX declined to order the pilot to series.
Now with PlayStation, Bendis is getting his wish.
“As I sift through different cuts of the episodes and the raw footage, I’ve been hearing from our cast on the set about how much fun everyone has been having,” Bendis wrote on PlayStation’s blog. “They battled the Atlanta weather and the flu and they pulled together and really gave it their all.”
Sony already has been promoting the series, announcing it at E3, the video game industry’s annual convention, in Los Angeles, and showing the first footage from the pilot at New York Comic Con.Bendis will plug the series Tuesday night on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
And on Jan. 21, comic book stores and Comixology.com will sell a reboot of the “Powers” book, featuring a new story. Book will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the series.
“This is a perfect place for new readers and old to hop on board the world of ‘Powers,'” wrote Bendis, who also revealed a first look at the show’s poster below.