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Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

Blake's 7 fans mourn, but Spielberg, Ridley Scott spared the chop

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Microsoft's Xbox chief Phil Spencer has confirmed his firm will shutter its ambitious Xbox TV studio, Xbox Entertainment Studios, after only two years.

Among the casualties is a remake of the BBC's cardboard-prop classic, Blake's 7. However, two scripted live-action productions based on the Halo game, to be produced by Stephen Spielberg and Ridley Scott respectively, have been spared the axe. So has a documentary series on the games industry, Signal To Noise.

Microsoft's Xbox division announced the ambitious plans in 2012, following Netflix's announcement to invest in original programming in early 2011. Very little of the material has been completed, with football reality series Every Street United which aired during the World Cup, an exception.

You can see a recent production schedule (dated March) here - and the memo announcing the closure here.

Amongst the casualties are Humans, involving the British writers and producers behind Spooks and Life on Mars, which had been picked up by Channel 4 for broadcast next year.

This week Microsoft announced it would cut 18,000 jobs from its 132,000 workforce, only the second time it has cut jobs, and by far the larger of the two.

New CEO Satya Nadella announced the cuts with a widely criticised and badly written 3,300 word epic, which Jean-Louis Gassée has nicely boiled down into a 200-word version. ®

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