By Sahil Patel
PlayStation is the latest digital platform to jump into the original programming game. Sibling Sony unit Sony Pictures Television is producing “Powers,” an hour-long drama based on the comic-book series of the same name, for the PlayStation Network.
It’s part of a bid by Sony to turn its gaming console into more of an entertainment network, the company said to The Wall Street Journal, echoing statements made by Microsoft when rival console Xbox started developing original, TV-like content for Xbox Live.
“Powers,” the graphic novel, is written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming. It tells the story of two detectives who investigate crimes committed by or involving beings with superhero-like abilities — referred to as “powers.”
The show, which was originally developed for FX, will be written by Charlie Huston, whose penning a brand-new take on the story. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton tells WSJ that the production budget for the show will be to the level you see with programming on premium channels like HBO and Showtime — so you know Sony is serious.
Which makes sense, considering rival Xbox’s first major programming announcement was a TV show based on its blockbuster gaming franchise, “Halo,” to be executive produced by the dude who made the summer blockbuster an actual thing, Steven Spielberg.
For its part, Sony Pictures Television is no stranger to producing high-quality TV content, having been behind critically acclaimed fare like “Breaking Bad” and “Community.” The unit is also behind a still-untitled family drama from the creators of “Damages,” which is being produced for Netflix.
“Powers” will also be produced by Circle of Confusion (“The Walking Dead”), with Bendis, Oeming, Huston, Michael Dinner, and Remi Aubuchon as executive producers. Huston and Aubuchon will serve as showrunners. Sony Pictures will distribute internationally.