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Halo is getting an early second season renewal at Paramount+.
The news, which arrives more than a month before the video game adaptation’s March 24 debut, comes as little surprise as the big-budget series has been in the works for more than eight years and is already on its third platform — and third showrunner.
In announcing the renewal Tuesday during the streamer’s investor presentation, Paramount+ confirmed that David Wiener (Fear the Walking Dead, Brave New World) will take over for Kyle Killen and Steven Kane as showrunner on the live-action series starring Pablo Schreiber. Exec producer Justin Falvey of Amblin TV previously revealed that Wiener was near a deal to lead the show for season two, paving the way for the formal renewal.
That the series would get an early vote of confidence from ViacomCBS execs comes as little surprise given that the company has invested millions into the show, which originally was designed to launch on Microsoft Xbox before moving to Showtime and its eventual home, Paramount+. The early pickup will allow the conglomerate to amortize the cost of the show over two seasons.
Halo was first announced back in 2014 when it was poised to bring Xbox into the scripted TV space. The price genre drama ultimately landed at Showtime, which picked up Halo to series in 2018 and tapped Killen (Awake) as showrunner. Since then, Halo parted ways with its original director and added a co-showrunner (Kane), with both having exited Halo after production on season one wrapped. Ultimately, ViacomCBS made the decision to move Halo to its streamer, Paramount+, as the platform — like Amazon and Peacock — looks for its big, broad breakout.
Kane oversaw physical production on the first season in Budapest, while Killen supervised writing and production in the United States. Season one exec producers include Kane, Amblin TV’s Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Falvey, Otto Bathurst, Toby Leslie, Killen, Scott Pennington, Kiki Wolfkill, Frank O’Connor and Bonnie Ross.
“Halo is an expansive, world-building opportunity for Paramount+, and we’re thrilled to give fans a second season to look forward to before we launch the series next month,” said Tanya Giles, chief programming officer at Paramount+. “Halo will deliver a thrill-ride for fans of the game and non-gamers alike, as it ties together stunning visuals with a deeper look at the personal stories behind these iconic characters, all set within an epic battle for the future of humanity.”
Paramount+ is not alone in handing out an early renewal for an expensive genre play. Amazon renewed its Lord of the Rings show — which doesn’t debut until September — a few years ago as part of what sources noted was a five-season (and multiple spinoff) plan for the franchise. The LOTR show is considered the most expensive show in TV history.
Halo and LOTR will also face off against HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, as Paramount+, Amazon and HBO will all compete for the Iron Throne of genre programming.
“Halo takes us into a dazzling world that we believe will enthrall audiences as much with its electrifying visuals as its bold, character-driven storytelling,” said David Nevins, chief content officer of scripted originals, Paramount+, and chairman and chief executive officer, Showtime Networks. “This second-season pickup reflects the confidence we have in the power of this epic series to attract and engage viewers. Halo has been a great collaboration with Amblin and 343 Industries, and we are all grateful for the opportunity to continue it.”
Schreiber leads a Halo cast that also includes Natascha McElhone, Jen Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Charlie Murphy, Danny Sapani, Ryan McParland, Burn Gorman and Fiona O’Shaughnessy.
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