Showtime Boss Says Halo TV Show Moving To Paramount Plus Was A Good Thing

Halo will air on Paramount+. In return, Showtime gets the TV adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth.


In the long road to get Showtime's live-action TV series adaptation of Halo made, one of the strangest turns yet was that the series won't actually air on Showtime. It was announced earlier this year that Halo was moving from the premium cable network to the Paramount+ TV service. Now, at a TCA summer press tour panel, Showtime says the change was a good one for them.

"Look, we love Halo, and we have great affection for it, and [Paramount+ is] a good fit because we continue on as the studio so we're going to be intimately involved with the creative and the production of it," Showtime Networks president of entertainment Jana Winograde said. "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 plus came into being, it really was a natural fit there."

While Showtime isn't typically known for epic-sized sci-fi series, the network spent seven years developing the series. Letting it go, even though Showtime Networks continues to be involved in a creative capacity, sounds difficult.

However, as Gary Levine, Showtime Networks' other president of entertainment explained, "We started developing Halo seven years ago when there was no Paramount+ or even the glimmer of an idea about it, and it was always a bit of an odd fit, you know? What is Showtime doing taking a video game--a first-person shooter video game--and putting it in their dramas?"

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That's an interesting shift from what Levine said at TCA's 2018 winter press tour, when he claimed he believed this take on Halo "will definitely satisfy the fans of Halo and I think also satisfy the drama audiences of Showtime."

Now, instead, Showtime will get the TV series adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth, which was also the basis for the 1976 David Bowie film. This series was originally being developed at Hulu, before moving to then-CBS All Access. It's now a Showtime exclusive, which Levine said is a better fit for the network.

"I think this is a one-time thing, and we did a one-time trade," he said., "'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."

Halo will star Pablo Schreiber as the iconic video game character Master Chief/John-11, The rest of the cast is rounded out by Natasha McElhone (*Dr. Catherine Halsey), Jen Taylor (Cortana), and a number of other familiar names from the franchise--and even some original characters.

A release date has not been set for the first season of Halo Paramount+ yet. If the show is renewed for Season 2, it will need to find itself a new showrunner--or possibly showrunners. It was reported in June that co-showrunner Kyle Killen left before production in Budapest kicked off, while co-showrunner Stephen Kane would also be exiting the series after he finished Season 1. The next game in the series, Halo Infinite, is apparently scheduled to launch on December 8, and we could get more official news at Gamescom Opening Night Live.

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