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Sony Plays Original Programming Game with ‘Powers’ Series

Sony’s PlayStation Network, which already had offered up films and TV shows to rent and buy on the PlayStation videogame console, will soon enter the original content game, offering up its own slate of TV series.

One of the first projects will be “Powers,” an hour-long adaptation of the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming about detectives who investigate supernatural crimes committed by God-like beings. Charlie Huston penned the pilot.

Sony Pictures Television will produce the show’s 10 episodes with Circle of Confusion. Series had initially been developed for FX with a pilot that starred Jason Patric and Charles S. Dutton.

Move is part of Sony’s effort to make the PlayStation, including its next-generation PlayStation 4, appeal to more than just gamers and more of an overall hub for entertainment in the livingroom. The company likes to tout that more people access Netflix on the PlayStation 3 than on any other device. Sony also has said it will invest more in the production of TV series, and turning to digital shows would fit in well with that strategy.

While Sony claims to have more than 150 million registered accounts on its PlayStation Network, giving it a sizable audience to which it can market original series like “Powers,” it has yet to disclose just how many of them pay $50 a year to subscribe to the service. Sony has said it has seen 3.2 billion pieces of content downloaded through the PSN since 2006. The network’s interface was refreshed for the launch of the PS4.

Sony also is developing an over-the-top pay-TV service and will need shows like “Powers” to offer up through the new channel when it launches. Such content becomes even more attractive if it can own the series. SPT is also producing a series for Netflix with the creators of “Damages.”

Microsoft has its own slate of original shows in the works, overseen by former CBS chief Nancy Tellem, that will be exclusive to the Xbox One and its other devices that offer the Xbox Live platform. Projects in development there include the Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of “Halo.”

“Powers” will be produced by Bendis, Oeming and Michael Dinner, while Huston and “Falling Skies'” Remi Aubuchon with serve as executive producers with Circle of Confusion’s David Engel, David Alpert and Lawrence Mattis.

Image Comics published “Powers” from 2000-2004 before the series moved to Marvel Comics’ Icon label.

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