"Microsoft is gearing up to give Zune owners something to watch. The tech giant has created a shingle that will produce a slate of video programming exclusively for the portable device, its answer to Apple's iPod. The move into production is being eyed as a way to help sell more Zune players, but the effort will also create another distribution platform for Hollywood's creative community. The first project will be "Cinemash" -- a comedy series it has created with arts and entertainment mag Mean -- which bows by May. The eight-episode series, unspooling in three- to five-minute installments, will feature celebs playing the roles in movies they wish they'd landed. Mean mag had already produced a series of shorts starring James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley and Seth Rogen that appeared on its website before pairing with Microsoft. Like all the Zune shows, "Cinemash" will be ad-supported and free for download."
If you're having a hard time reading through the Hollywood language (seriously, what does "bows by May" even mean?!), here's what's basically happening: Microsoft is teaming up with a magazine called Mean which has produced some pretty cool web shorts with some famous people in the past. The shows will range in content from live-action to animated, and from comedy to urban and music. They'll initially only be available to Zune, but will eventually trickle out to Xbox Live and MSN, and then the internets as a whole. Sounds pretty cool, and I remember there being talk of this a while back, but we'll have to wait and see how it pans out when the episodes bow out (hehe) in May.