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Ari Mark new Microsoft head of unscripted programming

AMC executive behind The Pitch, Talking Dead joins Xbox Entertainment Studios

Microsoft is ramping up its push for original programming on the Xbox One, as evidenced by its latest hire. The company today announced that it has brought on board Ari Mark as the new head of unscripted programming for the Santa Monica, California-based Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Mark arrives at Microsoft from AMC Networks, where he served as VP of Development. While there, Mark helped build on successful shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead with original unscripted programming. Among his projects were the reality TV series The Pitch (in which two ad agencies develop competing pitches for product accounts over the course of a week) and Talking Dead, a talk show in which the host and guests discuss the latest episode of AMC's hit zombie series. He is also credited as being responsible for Game of Arms, an upcoming AMC series focused on the underground American arm wrestling scene.

Microsoft has committed to rolling out its original programming for Xbox Live in the first half of 2014. Among the first projects to air will be an original Halo series with Steven Spielberg producing.

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