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Things Are Looking Up For The Paramount+ Halo Series

If you've been following the ongoing saga of the "Halo" TV series, you'll know that it has languished in the worst kind of development hell for quite some time; it was announced by Microsoft as a Steven Spielberg collaboration back in 2013 (via Deadline) for a projected 2015 release. In 2018, the series was finally greenlit for 10 episodes by Showtime executives (via Entertainment Weekly) and media outlets (like Kotaku) reported that the scripted series was set to air in early 2019. Remember that 2019 "Halo" prestige drama? Neither do we.

In the last couple of years, more activity has taken place — including a change of director in 2019 (via The Hollywood Reporter), the showrunner shuffle (via The Hollywood Reporter), and the start of production in 2020 (according to GameSpot). Then, in February 2021, "Halo" moved from Showtime to Paramount+ (via Deadline) and got a Q1 2022 release date.

Now there may be an actual light at the end of the tunnel for those who weren't sure how excited to get about yet another elusive milestone. At the Television Critics Association's 2021 summer tour (via Decider), ViacomCBS Streaming CEO Tom Ryan and Chief Programming Officer Tanya Giles confirmed the end date for the "Halo" series' time in purgatory. 

What they gave us is actually just a premiere window, but that's still good news: The executives say "Halo" is still on track for a release in 2022 on the Paramount+ streaming service.

The series, based on a long-running gaming franchise, is finally close to launch

"Halo" has a built-in fan base, thanks to the first-person shooter video game franchise that debuted in 2001 with the launch of "Halo: Combat Evolved," an Xbox exclusive. By June 2016, Microsoft said that more than 70 million units of the various games (there are six in the main line alone) had been sold; that number is estimated more than 81 million now, and a new game from developer 343 Industries, "Halo Infinite," is due out by year's end.

At the TCA summer tour, as reported by Decider, Giles described the TV show based on the video game IP this way: "'Halo,' produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001. It's an epic, 26th century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. The show will lean deeply on personal stories, action, adventure, and a richly imagined version of the future. It's aimed at both 'Halo' fans and audiences not familiar with 'Halo' alike."

Showtime executives said that the upcoming TV show didn't end up being a good fit for Showtime. However, when Paramount+ came along, it seemed a much more natural match. The series had filmed almost 60% of its first season when the COVID-19 pandemic shut production down in March 2020. Hopefully, it's complete now or mostly so, and fans will finally get to see Pablo Schreiber as the iconic Master Chief; Natasha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the creator of the Spartan super soldiers; and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the advanced AI.