First announced all the way back in 2013, the highly anticipated Halo television series, based on the megahit Xbox game franchise is finally set to premiere in the first quarter of 2022. But don't go signing up for a Showtime subscription just yet. While the show was originally slated to run on the premium subscription channel, ViacomCBS executives announced on Wednesday that it will instead be hosted on the company's new Paramount+ streaming service.
The upcoming television series is produced by Showtime in collaboration with Microsoft's subsidiary 343 Industries, and Amblin Entertainment. Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will serve as executive producers on behalf of Amblin alongside Steven Kane (he produced Starship Troopers) and Kyle Killen (Awake), as well as five other EPs repping One Big Picture, Chapter 11, and 343 Industries. Directed by Otto Bathurst and starring Pablo Schreiber of American Gods fame as well as Natascha McElhone, who was awesome in Ronin, Avengers: Age of Ultron's Bentley Kalu, The Witcher's Natasha Culzac and Catastrophe's Kate Kennedy, the series has been billed as Showtime's "most ambitious series ever."
Halo the television show was originally set to premiere in Q1 2021, however the outbreak of COVID-19 derailed its shooting schedule with only 60 percent of the first season having been filmed. In addition to the yearlong delay, the first season has seen its episode count shortened by one so we'll only get 9 eps to start.
“We were on the hunt for signature shows beyond the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access and were thinking, what could be a defining series for Paramount+,” David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer and Chairman for CBS, and CEO of Showtime Networks told Deadline. However, after seeing the initial footage — combined with the popularity of Showtime's original series Your Honor starring Bryan Cranston — channel execs decided to move Halo over to Paramount+. "Halo always fit the bill but seeing it, we felt it would work,” Nevins said. Despite the platform migration, Showtime will continue to produce the series.
“It delivers the visceral excitement of playing the game, along with a much deeper emotional experience around the Spartans, human beings who got their humanity chemically and genetically altered,” he continued. “The story is about reclaiming what makes them human, and therefore it’s a very powerful story.”
Paramount+ will be available as a broad-play service, rather than Pluto's free ad-supported streaming or Showtime's paid-premium offerings. "We all felt that Halo is a broad-pay and premium-pay show," Nevins said, so you'll likely need to spend actual money to watch it rather than suffer through occasional ad breaks.