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Xbox is ready to be a major player in TV programming. Looking to expand beyond gamers, and inspired by the success of streaming services like Netflix, Microsoft's newly formed Xbox Entertainment Studios is announcing the first original series for its device at a Monday presentation to advertisers. The company has ordered a bunch of projects to premiere in the next two years, including two different takes on the Halo game franchise. The first project, a digital feature to be released later this year, comes from Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions and director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica), and will be streamed on a chapter-by-chapter basis. A live-action Halo TV series from Steven Spielberg and his Amblin TV label is also in the works.
This week, Katy Perry was awkwardly caught lip-syncing when her backup track failed at an awards ceremony in France, while Paul Rudd and Kate McKinnon premiered their new web series Hudson Valley Ballers. Someone adorably re-created the movie Elf using pugs, andZach Galifianakis hosted a holiday edition of "Between Two Ferns." Also, Sarah Silverman,Michael Cera and other comedians launched an ugly sweater charity campaign for Stand Up to Cancer, and the first scene of the Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire miniseries The Spoils of Babylon premiered. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best onlinevideos:
YouTube held its first-ever Music Awards Sunday, and the show was ... awkward. Hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts emphasized that the awards show was unscripted, but viewers probably would have been able to tell that even without the reminder. From the strange mini-scavenger hunts Schwarzman and Watts occasionally had to embark on to find the winner's name, to uncomfortable interludes between the performances, it's clear that the show has its share of bugs to work out before (if?) it returns for a second year.
Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera have joined forces with a host of other comedians to launch a new comedy channel on YouTube, Deadline reports.
Cheers to Reggie Watts for lighting up the small screen.The incandescent comic/musician — who's like the love child of Zach Galifianakis and Jack Black, plus a giant Afro — tore down houses as the opening act for Conan O'Brien's just-concluded "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour." He made his network debut on O'Brien successor Jimmy Fallon's Late Night and performed one of his breakout tunes, "Big-Ass Purse," in TBS' recent special Team Coco Presents: Conan's Writers. Too bad ...