Why the Halo TV show moved from Showtime to Paramount Plus

The Halo universe was destined to hit the big or small screen since the mid-2000s. The question was when, how, and where. In the past couple of years, the possible Halo movie turned into a TV show with a home on Showtime and production commencing in 2020.

But earlier this year, Showtime announced the show would be moving to the new streaming service Paramount+ and launching in 2022. During the TCA press tour this week, Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks, explained why.

“We love Halo, we have great affection for it. And (as a studio), we’re going to be intimately involved with the creative and the production of it,” Winograde said, according to Deadline. “But the truth is that it was always a bit of an outlier for us in terms of its fit in the Showtime universe. We did an amazing job of imbuing into the series the character drama that we’re so well known for. But at the end of the day, it is a big, broad, big-tent show, so when Paramount+ came into being, it really was a natural fit there.”

Both Showtime and Paramount+ are owned by ViacomCBS, and to make things even, Showtime will get The Man Who Fell To Earth. The show, which is a remake of the 1976 sci-fi film with David Bowie, was slated for the streamer. The show will star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Naomie Harris. According to Showtime and Viacom execs, this is a one-time deal.

“I think this is a one-time thing, and we did a one-time trade, ‘You can have Halo, we’ll take Man Who Fell to Earth.’ We’re happy; they’re happy. I think both shows will thrive in their new environments,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks, according to Deadline.  “But these are two distinctly different services with two very different missions, and I think we will stay true to our brand. And we have high hopes for Paramount+ to define itself.”

“At the end of the day, we are going to be developing content for Showtime — sophisticated premium curated shows — and Paramount+ will be developing content for Paramount+ — big-tent shows that are four-quadrant,” Winograde added. “All intents are to keep those lanes separate.”

As previously reported, Pablo Schrieber plays the title role of Master Chief. You may recognize him as the leprechaun, Mad Sweeney, from American Gods or George ‘Pornstache’ Mendez from Orange is the New Black.

The show follows Master Chief as “Earth’s most advanced warrior in the 26th century and the only hope of salvation for a civilization pushed to the brink of destruction by the Covenant, an unstoppable alliance of alien worlds committed to the destruction of humanity.”

The show also stars Yerin Ha as Quan Ah, a teenager from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief. She is a new character in the Halo universe.