With both Amazon Studios and Microsoft Studios now occupying the digital space of an MGM or Warner Bros. in the celluloid era, the trope that “Content is King,” however elementary, is reshaping the Pacific Northwest as the nucleus of a new generation in digital entertainment. The emergent oeuvre is “Chaplainesque” in its relative infancy but “Ridley Scott” in its futuristic trajectory.
To spearhead Microsoft ‘s production studio efforts, as well as lead the mission to turn Xbox into a destination where consumers can enjoy all their entertainment in one place, Mircosoft has named the former president of CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, Nancy Tellem, to lead their production studio and serve as a key liaison for Microsoft Entertainment initiatives.
Tellem and her group will collaborate with the creative community to develop unique, compelling storytelling experiences for the Xbox brand. More than just a gaming console, Xbox has evolved into a consumer destination for the world’s most popular TV, movies, music and sports content. With a roster of more than 65 entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, MLB.TV, ESPN, YouTube and VEVO, global video consumption on Xbox LIVE has increased 140 percent during the past year. In addition, this September, Microsoft will introduce 2-way TV experiences from renowned entertainment partners Sesame Workshop and National Geographic that will further expand the Xbox platform beyond games, offering entertainment options for everyone in the family.
“I am excited to be a part of the continued evolution of Xbox from a gaming console to the hub of every household’s entertainment experience,” Tellem said. “The Xbox is already a consumer favorite, and we now have a tremendous opportunity to transform it into the center of all things entertainment — from games, music and fitness to news, sports, live events, television series and movies — so consumers have one destination for all their entertainment needs. I look forward to building a studio team that embraces the challenges of creating true interactive content that the Xbox platform supports and to work with talent to create content that will change the way entertainment content is experienced and delivered.”
“Whether you are voting for your favorite contestant on a TV show or playing a game, entertainment is becoming more personalized and social, driven by the Internet and new tools to interact with content,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Studios. “We are embarking on a new chapter with the creation of a studio dedicated to making original interactive and linear content, and I’m excited to have Nancy leading this effort.”
“With her impressive background in entertainment innovation, I am thrilled to have Nancy join our team,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. “Under her direction, we look forward to building and extending our creative offerings from the living room to all your devices.”
Tellem has been a CBS executive since 1997, most recently as senior adviser to CEO Leslie Moonves, where she explored business and strategic opportunities — domestic and international — involving content partnerships, new production models, emerging media and technologies. As president of the CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, Tellem supervised programming, development, production, business affairs and operations. She oversaw the network’s prime-time, daytime, late-night and Saturday morning lineups (with shows like “CSI,” “Survivor,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens”). Before joining CBS, Tellem was executive vice president of Business and Financial Affairs for Warner Bros. Television and was part of the team that launched the landmark programs “Friends” and “ER.”
In 2006, Tellem was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for her contributions to the electronic arts. In 2008, Forbes ranked her 32nd on its list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and Entertainment Weekly named her the third-smartest person in TV for quickly restoring CBS’s entire primetime lineup after the 100-day writers’ strike. That same year, the National Association of Television Program Executives awarded Tellem a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award in recognition of her “extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating TV programming.” [24×7]